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How to Minimize Workplace Negativity?

It is often said, “Beautiful things happen to you, when you distance yourself from negativity.” But, distancing negativity is an easy way out, rather than dealing with it. Today, nothing affects employee productivity more severely than constant negativity at the workplace. It sucks the energy out of your employee, develops feelings of uneasiness in your team and organization and most importantly affects your performance.

The Breeding ground for negativity-

Do you recollect the last time you saw an employee with a bored face, slumped shoulders and a disinterested body language? When was the last time he said “things will never change around here”? Now the thing with negativity is, it is contagious almost like a disease and will spread quickly especially in the workplace.

Stay out of the whirlwind

Negativity is like a spiral that will engulf everyone and will drain you out. It is like a vicious circle that will spread across your entire workplace, sabotaging your output and performance.

You can spot negativity in many forms-

  • Complaining (huge one this)
  • Demoralizing
  • Back Stabbing
  • Blaming

Now what is needed is a thorough check and uprooting negativity out of the shackles of your office. But is it really possible? Can you completely wipe out negativity? Before we proceed further, let us tell you that negativity is of two types:

  • Healthy Negativity v/s
  • Toxic Negativity

Here we would like to add that all negativity need not be unhealthy. We elaborate our point in the next para-

It is important to state that all bad feelings are actually not that bad. Sometimes being sad, frustrated, angry is good to vent out your feelings till the limit it is a natural and healthy reaction. It should be a channel to emit your feelings so that it does not remain bottled up and you can release it.

What are the effects of negativity?

  • Impacts productivity
  • Hampers creativity
  • Discrepancies in communication
  • Lowers morale
  • Waste of time and energy
  • Finally good employees leave.

So how to reduce workplace negativity-

  • Figure out the root of the problem

Speak out with people who have been framed as negative. Question them and ask for explanations. It cannot happen that it is a one sided problem. Be clear in your communication.

  • Don’t develop favoritism

Favoritism towards an employee will not only create negativity but also jealously and hatred. It will tremendously affect team performance. Treat every employee equally. Give appreciation and let them know their mistakes at an equal level.

  • Work on creating a positive atmosphere overall

Conduct regular meetings where you will get to know your fellow team mates. Listen to the grievances of people. Make an effort to recognize employee contributions.

  • Provide healthy outlets for employees

Stress is one of the reasons for negativity. Offering stress buster options is a good way to infuse positivity. For e.g. you can have meditation or yoga session, or a session on inspiring stories. Providing an outlet for stress will definitely increase the morale and reduce negativity.

  • Lighten up a bit

Yes you have important work to do, complete targets, hold client calls, and finish off pending work. But it doesn’t have to be that serious. Lighten up the office environment a bit. A fun culture can be a big booster to eliminate stress. After all we are humans who need to let our hair down once in a while. Team activities are a great way to foster goodwill among the team.

  • Provide adequate monetary compensation

Yes however hard-hitting and direct this point is, this factor has to be considered. You certainly hope that employees are more than a paycheck and are here only for a sense of fulfillment and an employee on their part will say the same. But at the end of day, he will have to pay his bills, have personal responsibilities no matter how much he loves the office environment. They will eventually develop feelings of negativity and leave if they are underpaid.

  • Break the grapevine

Gossip is one of the most common tactics used by people and many think that the best way to deal with a gossip is to ignore it. Wrong! Instead of ignoring it, be a part of it but in a positive way. Participate by giving correct & truthful information.

  • Discuss with a mentor

If you feel that you are not able to do anything about the persistent negativity brimming in the office, seek help from senior or a mentor who has been in a similar situation. Brainstorm and discuss with him/her what the problem is. Ask their experiences.

  • Provide opportunities for growth

Employees thrive in workplaces where they feel there are opportunities for growth. Provide different training programs which will give them an opportunity to recognize their talents and develop the employee’s skills, capabilities and strengths.

Here are some quick tips to help reduce the impact of negativity-

  • Instead of ‘This is a problem’ say ‘this is a very good opportunity’
  • Instead of ‘You are wrong’ say ‘my thoughts on these are’
  • Instead of ‘I hope it doesn’t fail’ say ‘I am sure it will do well’

On a concluding note

Developing positivity doesn’t mean you have to be a “yes person”. Neither should it be such that you should overlook the mistakes. Praise and acknowledge when required but don’t be a pushover. Be wise and implement cleverly. Strategize and be intelligent about the approach. Try to eliminate negativism in your own small work area.

Finally, don’t give in. Take action and work for it!

Have any questions about workplace negativity? Contact us here at Cerveausys.

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