Tips for Minimizing Workplace Negativity

Workplace negativity is contagious and difficult to combat. Here are some tips for how to prevent workplace negativity from entering the fray at your business.

Workforce morale is crucial. When it comes to “keeping your eye on the prize,” negativity does everything in its power to deter you and your team from doing just that. Furthermore, it diminishes productivity and energy levels while deteriorating any favorable opinions employees may have of their workplace. One of the most challenging aspects surrounding workplace negativity is that it spreads like wildfire. As the old saying goes: misery loves company. So, as business owners or team leaders, what are some preemptive measures we can take to lessen the odds that our employees and/or teams will latch onto the tempting vice of workplace negativity? Here are a few ideas.

Reaffirming Workplace Positivity

As stated in the introduction: negativity is contagious. Fortunately, the same goes for positivity. For that very reason, companies that actively reaffirm positive workplace practices are more likely to nullify employees’ negative feelings and attitudes. Examples of positive practices, some of which are detailed further down in this article, include: team identity, openness, an actionable company vision, and much more. 

Creating an Actionable Vision

An employee’s workplace negativity can be caused by a variety of circumstances. In some cases, it could be connected to issues within their personal lives that you are not (and will never be) aware of. In many cases, employees simply don’t see where they fit into the grand scheme of things within the company. In more poetic terms, they feel like a cog in the machine. We’ve all been there. How do we alleviate that? Start by creating a company vision in which everyone understands their place towards bringing it to fruition. When employees have a firm understanding of their place within the context of the company and the company’s mission, it becomes obvious to them why their job in fact has meaning. 

Building a Team Identity

Traditional organizational structures often leave individuals, teams, and departments feeling fragmented and siloed. This goes for both blue-collar and white-collar work environments. That is why it’s so crucial not just for companies to have a clear organizational vision, but for teams to have an underpinning identity of their own. Team identification is embedded into our DNA! Developing team identity isn’t only important for how teams will conduct themselves, but how team members think about their team and in the future how they will measure their shortcomings and successes. Building a team identity could happen naturally over time, but in the effort to avert workplace negativity, it’s best to draw up a strategy to work towards building a cohesive identity that will help your team thrive.

Be Transparent

Of all the tips listed in this article, this may be the most important. Without transparency across all levels of the organization, your employees will start to lose trust. The same goes in any other relationship in life, yet so many employers and team leaders fail to implement such values and ideals into their professional lives. Transparency doesn’t only help employees feel as if they’re really part of the organization, but it helps them contribute to solutions, further embedding them as a part of and not apart from the company. 

Staying Positive

It’s difficult to remain positive. Workplace negativity is almost always lingering in the background just waiting to rear its ugly head. As business owners and team leaders, it is our responsibility to put measures in place that will decrease the likelihood that workplace negativity will do damage to workforce morale. Reaffirming positive workplace practices, creating (and voicing) an actionable company vision, building out team identities, and being transparent are all effective and meaningful jumpoff points for nurturing workplace positivity.

Further Reading