Negative mindsets and conduct can erode workplace morale, business goals, and revenue greatly over time. Bosses need proven strategies to rectify such potentially destructive attitudes. Fill out National PEO’s quick contact form online to request HR and management training for this tricky personnel concern. The following approaches can help supervisors handle such awkward situations better today.
Arrange an anonymous attitude survey to gain a clear understanding of your employees’ opinions. Crewmembers who might be unwilling to share their negative feelings and thoughts directly may be more open secretly. Gathering everyone’s viewpoints will send the message that your company cares about its personnel, which could help turn around gloomy spirits.
Generally, negative workers do not make big blunders that stir up major troubles. Their production quality is frequently good, so bosses do not fault their performance often. That might make them hard to identify. Such employees share these incessant behaviors:
- Complain about various things including exaggerated gravities of colleagues’ mistakes
- Insult workmates to others and spread gossip
- Initiate rumors that turn employees into rivals
- Criticize managers sneakily, undermining their authority without them recognizing and correcting such actions often
To assess problem areas and the importance of addressing them, answer these key questions:
- What adverse effects are staffers’ behaviors causing?
- How do those habits affect their co-workers and/or reports?
- In what ways do those actions vary from company-wide norms for all personnel?
- Could following accepted conduct standards improve morale and output?
Guide Difficult Conversations
No one enjoys tough exchanges between bosses and negative employees, but delaying such encounters can worsen bad situations. In private one-on-one sessions with acidic staffers, managers should pursue these methods:
Acknowledge any awkwardness: Supervisors can admit that their comments may be difficult to hear and discuss.
Focus on results: Indicate that workers must address harsh realities to perform their jobs successfully.
Accentuate positives: Highlight good outcomes staffers can expect after changing disruptive behaviors. If they remain defiant, stress negative consequences of not upgrading their outlooks.
Be specific: Experts advise supervisors to tackle bad attitudes using specific facts — not general terms — about employee behavior problems. Stating that you don’t like workers’ dispositions so they should fix them is too vague. Instead, identify negative staffers’ actions. Present representative examples of past judgmental remarks for clarity. Declare that disparaging clients to associates is not helpful, for instance. It poisons other customer service reps’ moods.
Tolerate a little ranting: Calling out employees’ undesirable behaviors may make them defensive. So let them vent opposing opinions briefly. They may just need you to hear their interpretations. Then steer conversations back to correcting your concerns.
Use first-person plural pronouns: Approach struggles as challenges for all affected parties. “We have to fix our problem” helps staffers realize their behaviors’ importance without singling them out.
Restrict “you” usages: Dumping all responsibilities on employees will derail reciprocal communications. Directing constant attacks at “you,” like “You have the worst outlook” may provoke arguments. “We have an attitude issue to solve” is preferable.
Avoid “but” and “however”: Some bosses think opening compliments lighten bad news that follows. Employees will respond well to hearing that their work efforts are good. Tacking on “but …” alters that message enough to elicit anger. Substitute “and” for the dreaded “but” or “however” to help interchanges go more smoothly. Finish positive assessments with “… and we should consider how you could respect our clients more.”
Allow silence: Tense situations may tempt superiors to fill in uncomfortable conversation gaps. Instead, stay silent during lulls. That compels workers to speak. Managers can gather surprising amounts of information without asking questions if they just remain quiet.
Assign resolutions: Bosses should state clearly that they will not tolerate negative staffers’ troublesome actions. Announce your official company policy instructing all personnel to exhibit professional behaviors that strengthen conduct, performance, teamwork, and productivity. Explain suitable resolutions for all issues that are effective immediately. For instance, if comments about customers are not supportive, do not voice them. Supervisors demonstrating positive corrections show that they care, which may improve employees’ attitudes toward their bosses and workplace.
Supply daily doses of positivity while minimizing negativity. Post bold banners celebrating success around your facility. During corporate meetings, praise those who have done great jobs so everyone will notice your firm’s appreciation of excellence. Optimism that overshadows pessimism will shrink that cancer damaging your workforce.