Minimizing Workplace Negativity

When your employees seem to dwell on negativity, it is not just coincidence.  Workplace negativity is an increasing problem among organizations, which is caused by a variety of reasons such as loss of confidence, control, or community. 

If left untreated, persistent workplace negativity saps the energy of your organization and diverts critical attention from work and performance.  As a human resource professional, you need to be in touch with your employees throughout the company.  Here are some suggestions that you can do to minimize workplace negativity.

Identify workplace negativity before it gets worse – You need to keep your fingers on the organization’s pulse in order to sense workplace negativity.  This enables you to establish early warning signals that all is not well.  Receive employee complaints, do exit interviews with employees who leave, monitor discussions on employees’ Intranets, and know the reputation of your organization in your community. 

Provide opportunities for your workers to make decisions about their own job – Employees frequently complain about managers or the organization making a decision about a person’s work without his or her input.  Excluding the employee in the decision-making process that would affect him or her is perceived as negative.

Make opportunities for people to express their opinions about your workplace – You can put up an "expression wall" or a "suggestion box" wherein employees can post their opinion about the organization’s policies and procedures.  You need to recognize the impact of changes in such areas like work hours, pay, benefits, assignment of overtime hours, company pay, dress code, office location, job requirements, and working conditions.

Treat employees fairly and consistently – Display workplace policies and procedures aimed at organizing work efficiently.  You need to apply these policies and procedures consistently to your co-workers.

Do not create rules for all employees when only a few are at fault – When there are a few people in your organization who violated the norms, you do not have to enforce strict rules to everyone in the office.  You want to minimize the number of rules directing the behavior of adult people at work.

Help people feel like they belong – Each person wants to have the same information as quickly as everyone else.  Provide your people with context for decisions, and communicate effectively and constantly.

Provide growth and development to people – Show commitment to your staff by conducting training meetings, as well as perceived opportunities to grow and develop your employee.

Provide appropriate leadership – People want to feel as if they are part of something bigger than themselves.  If your employees understand the direction, and their part in making the desired outcomes happen, they can effectively contribute more.

Provide appropriate awards and recognition – People feel their contributions are valued.  Rewards and recognitions is regarded as a positive feedback.

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