Why Negative People Can Poison Your Work Culture and 4 Ways To Help You Keep It Positive
Bad apples are everywhere and they can, if unchecked, transform an otherwise positive work culture into a negative one. Here are some reasons it happens and ways to overcome it.
Bad apples are people with a persistently negative attitude and outlook, who are vocal and who often influence others in the organisation to feel the same. This single voice can quickly become a crescendo of negativity, which drains the positive energy of your organisation and diverts critical attention away from wellbeing and performance.
This one person’s dissatisfaction can be shared and propagated by others, as ‘heresay’ becomes fact. The organisation usually becomes the target for this negative crusade and the culture becomes tainted and poisoned as other employees become influenced by the notion that “there is no smoke without fire”.
This swirl of negativity is often exacerbated where there is no counter balance by way of an alternative view, a voice of reason, from other people within the team or from the organisation itself.
In the absence of an alternative ground roots view, the organisation needs to provide some objectivity and fill the vacuum with an official opinion or response.
There are 4 ways to combat the negativity:
1. Identify and consult with the source
You need to find where the negativity is coming from and understand what the person is or people are negative about. A patient consultative style is required no matter how frustrated and angry you feel. A combative approach will just fan the flames.
2. Address the issues
Once you know the extent of the issues then you need to address them, otherwise the negativity will continue stronger than before.
3. Communicate the outcome
Sometimes such issues can be dealt with privately, but where the negativity has spread beyond the source it is best to communicate to the whole organisation by building a bridge to them. Make the communication friendly and efficient, not callous or cold, by acknowledging there may have been an issue but that this has been recognised and an equitable solution found.
4. Create an effective grievance process
One reason for the original issue is that the person or people didn’t have the right channel to communicate their grievance. It’s much better that you know about issues early as they can be dealt with and so you can ensure there is an effective and clear grievance procedure, and that everyone knows what that is. Whilst people will often share their frustrations with their colleagues, an effective grievance procedure will minimise damage to your positive work culture.
To learn more about building a positive work culture contact Mental Toughness Partners