4 Steps to stop workplace negativity

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Health Assured team

04 January 2019

A 14 year Harvard Business Review study has revealed that 98% of workers have experienced “uncivil” behaviour in the workplace and 48% intentionally decreased their work effort as a result.


Negativity in the workplace has the tendency of resurfacing every so often, as employees become disgruntled, stressed or apathetic within their roles.


To accompany this, negativity can also be a trait held by certain individuals that can potentially act as a poison to the workplace, effecting employee morale, productivity and the overall reputation of an organisation.


To avoid the spread of negativity throughout the organisation, employers should be taking active steps to prevent and counteract the effects of negativity in the workplace on both an individual and collective level.


Following these four steps below should help you on your way to providing a solution to workplace negativity.


1. Look at negativity as room for improvement

Employers often view negativity as an endless battle that can never be won. But herein lies the problem, as this in itself is a form of negativity. Rather than looking at this challenge in a defeatist way, look at it as an opportunity to change or improve your internal structure.


If employees see their employers and management adopting a positive and open mentality at work, employees will be more inclined to follow suit. Workplace negativity may also reflect an area of your organisation which is in need of your attention. Look towards creating a solution and not ignoring the issue, hoping that it goes away.


2. Conflict vs. Debate

The workplace is one of the most diverse environments to be in. This should be seen as a positive and precious factor that can help drive your organisation forward.


Each individual has a different opinion on how they believe a project should be approached, so it is important to let your employees have their say. Don’t stifle their creativity, but rather fuel their passion to provide innovative ideas through healthy debate. Facilitating healthy debates will enable your employees to avoid conflict, whilst being equally engaged in their roles.


Respecting everyone’s opinions is important even if they may not work in the long run. There is no right answer, but an open enquiry will ultimately lead to a constructive solution.


3. Positivity as a central value

Encouraging positivity is the most powerful weapon in minimising and combating negativity. Whilst persistent positivity may sound unachievable, if employers drive positivity into the internal fabric of their organisations, employees will be more committed to maintaining their values in the long-term. In light of this, when issues or problems arise (as they always do), employees will face these challenges head on, finding ways to turn problems into a strength for the organisation, ensuring that the same issue is never encountered again.


4. Create a balance

Striking a balance between working hard and finding time to help integrate and build team mentality will help stamp out negativity. This could range from monthly paid-for lunches and fun days to creative team building challenges and events.


Not only are these enjoyable for your employees, but as a result, employers are likely to see improved communication and engagement across all departments in your organisation.


If you would like to find out more information on any of the topics mentioned in this article, please contact Health Assured on:

0844 892 2493

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