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Use these three tips to deal with a negative workforce

by , 16 May 2013
Negativity in your team has serious consequences for your company. Not only does it affect the morale of every employee in your company, it'll also impact the performance of your team and could even lead to employees resigning. Here are three tips you can use to nip negativity in the bud.

The phrase 'one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch' best describes just how negativity can breed negativity in your company and how it can snowball and become part of your company culture, especially if you don't deal with it.

Signs that might point to a negativity problem in your company can include: .High staff turnover, absence from work, go slows, employees cutting work hours short, non-performance, low mood or energy levels, negative language, body language and talk in common areas.

Use these three tips to curb employee negativity

Tip #1: Assess and address the root causes. Identify what could be the underlying reason for the negativity. It could be:

  • What you do and don't do in your own work or interaction with employees;
  • What you say and don't say in your interaction with employees;
  • Demotivating leadership;
  • Your company's lack of interest in employees; and
  • Significant change employees aren't ready or equipped to handle, don't understand or and agree with.

Tip #2: Give support and resources. Give employees the support and resources they need to do their jobs. As a manager, you must 'enable performance, and not merely demand it,' warns the Practical Guide to Human Resources Management. Employees need equipment, tools, people resources, training and leadership support.

Tip #3: Deal with energy vampires. Deal with the negative employees timeously, so they don't pull down the rest of the team. If possible, reduce their negative influence by changing their role or the amount of contact they have with the rest of your team.

Remember that while employees who've been with your company longer will often sort out negative individuals by avoiding them, new employees might be more vulnerable and prone to be pulled down by energy vampires. If the team's performance and morale are affected, 'address the issue as a performance-related issue in your day-to-day performance management role as a manager' advises the Loose Leaf.

Using these tips will help ensure you deal with a negative workforce so it doesn't affect your company's productivity.

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