How to Navigate Negativity in the Workplace
by Asad Khaja
One of the things that we hear all the time on calls with candidates is concerns or issues about negativity in the workplace. This issue can show up in a multitude of different ways in your organization. You might have an employee who is gaslighting others, or maybe you’ve had issues with the break room turning into the gossip room.
Whatever it is that you could be dealing with, negativity in the office can be one of the biggest morale and culture killers that you might deal with in your organization. Don’t worry though, this is something that you can turn around for your organization, and if you’re not dealing with issues of negativity, hopefully, these ideas will help you to continue to move your organization forward.
1. Figure Out Their Hopes and Dreams
One of the things we hear the most from candidates is they don’t feel appreciated or understood at work. Having weekly or monthly 1 on 1’s with your team allows you the chance to learn about them and understand their struggles. Find out what motivates them, or what they’re passionate about outside of work. Truly take the time to LISTEN to them and how you can help them achieve those dreams.
2. Give People An Outlet to Express Their Problems
There are always going to be issues at work, whether internal or external (with clients or customers). Create ways for your employees to express concerns they may have, even if it may be anonymously. If employees have a way to address concerns with leadership, they’re not going to sit there at lunch complaining to their coworkers about any issue that comes up.
3. Infuse Your Workplace With Fun and Humor
Find unique ways for your team or the whole company to have fun and relax and get to know people outside of what we show at work. Here at Hire For Hope, we start every Monday meeting with ‘Good News’ in your life, allowing the team to celebrate with you. We also do icebreakers at all our other team meetings. It creates talking points with your team or inside jokes, further entrenching happiness or joy in your employees with being at work.
4. Invest In Your Hiring and Onboarding
Make investments in your hiring process and understanding what you’re truly looking for. Take the time to know your culture and know how you want to present it to potential candidates. When you take the time to understand this, you can start to avoid hiring individuals who might be super talented but aren’t a culture fit. If they aren’t a fit with the culture or team, it’ll only be a matter of time before they start to try to bring down the rest of the team morale.
5. Help Them Find a Happier Place to Work
This should be an absolute last resort to remove negativity from the workplace. Sometimes though, the expectations of the job or the culture just isn’t what someone was looking for. Watching others achieve their dreams while someone feels stuck can be demoralizing. Take the time to understand what someone actually wants and help them find that, even if it’s outside of the organization. Once they’re gone, it should help allow the culture to reset and pickup where it left off.