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As a leader, you’ll know that a go-getter and a positive attitude are crucial to success. But instilling this within your team can be a little bit more complicated. Negativity in the workplace can quash engagement and impede productivity, making it vital to nip negative attitudes in the bud as early as possible.

People express negativity in many forms, including depressive thoughts, unenthusiastic attitudes, and gossipmongering. It can also be contagious, spreading across the organisation and impacting employee morale.

Here are some tips on overcoming negativity in your workplace to help you tackle these issues head-on and get your team back on track with a positive mindset.

Identify the root cause

Identify the root cause of the negativity and take steps to help reduce it or remove it altogether. Sometimes, people are more inclined to be critical and see the negatives. This can be a common occurrence when people are strong critical thinkers, and this strength tips into overdrive, potentially becoming a weakness. Increasing self-awareness and developing techniques to help prevent strengths from tipping into overdrive can make life much more favourable for the individual and those around them.

Negativity may signify that someone is unhappy at work or home. Speaking with the individual to determine what is happening and how you can support them can make a huge difference. Other times, people have an off day and take out their frustrations on others by being rude or complaining about things that don’t matter in life’s grand scheme. Whatever the reason for the negativity, you should address it immediately so everyone can get back on track at work.

Developing a shared vision

One of the main reasons employees develop a negative attitude is that they feel detached from the business and its leaders. There’s a lot to be said for involving your team when defining your business’s vision and goals; asking for their input will make them feel a part of the company and its successes – creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Team building days are a fun, interactive, hands-on way to bring your team together. As well as giving your workforce a change of scenery from the four walls of the office, it will also give you a chance to bond beyond the traditional boundaries of manager-employee, encouraging trust and mutual understanding.

Forster employee engagement

Tackling negativity in the workplace shouldn’t be a one-off initiative, though. To overcome issues and maintain positive momentum, continually prioritising your team’s happiness and well-being is vital. Rewards like a free meal or early finish for high-performers will encourage your team to work to their full potential. Meanwhile, little things can have a significant impact on morale. Consider initiatives such as flexible hours, remote working, beers or yoga in the office on a Friday afternoon, or assigning employees to organise socials outside of work, all of which can help to create and maintain a happy and motivated workforce. The possibilities are endless, with plenty of scope to be creative!

Offer a safe space for employees to discuss issues

Offer a safe space for employees to discuss issues. If people feel down, they may not want to bring it up in a big group meeting. But they might be willing to talk one-on-one or in small groups. That’s why it’s essential to ensure that everyone feels comfortable raising concerns, whether they’re about work or their personal lives.

If you’re struggling with negativity in the workplace and you’d like to discuss how we can support you, book your free discovery call now.

Author: Gemma Rolstone | Published 2nd June 2016.