Managing Negative Employees in the Workplace

#deal with negative employees #managing negative employees #negative employees

Mollie Pendexter

Sometimes, especially in times of lull or company crisis you can find yourself in a situation where you have an especially negative employee. Unfortunately, when this happens this person can bring the rest of your team down with him/her. It’s important to face negativity head-on to not only raise team morale but to find a solution to why this person, as well as other people on your team are not happy.

Every workplace has negative people who can bring down the morale; dealing with negative employees can be difficult but not dealing with them can be worse. A McKinsey study reveals that 59 percent of employees wish that managers would directly deal with problem employees. Unfortunately, in the same study only 7 percent of those responding to employee surveys believed their companies were actually taking action to makes matters better.

How to Manage and Deal with Negative Employees

By taking on your negative employee, you showcase your strong managerial skills, sending clear-cut message to your department that you value positivity and team work.

  • Don’t get trapped in workplace gossip

There will be instances when negative employees will do their best to get yourself and other peers in on the gossip. Lead by an example and restrain from any workplace gossip, taking the conversation to another angle or referencing that you are uncomfortable discussing a particular topic. Remember your role as a manager and set a positive example for your employees.

  • Be a good listener

There are chances that your negative employee is acting out as a result of workplace or personal issues. What you have inferred as a negative attitude might convert into a opportunity for helpful feedback. Try and really listen to the type of things this employee is saying so that you might be able to help them change their outlook on the workplace environment.

  • Create solutions

Don’t just focus on the negative aspects of this employee – by bringing up positive and encouraging conversations you will be able to lead him or her in a different direction. By creating an all-around positive atmosphere for not just this employee, but your whole team, you are directly setting an example of what their attitude should be like in the workplace.

  • Highlight their behavior in a subtle way

Try to see how your other employees react to this particular person – observe interactions and the way this person speaks / behaves.  It’s important to find concrete examples so that you can go to your problem employee and let them know their behavior is unacceptable.

  • Be courageous enough to take big decisions

Firing someone is the last resort as a manager – although it is extremely hard to do it’s important to remember that your main priority should be the well-being of your team. If even after discussion and evaluation this negative employee continues to behave in such a way it’s important to address it head on. If you allow someone who brings your entire team down to stay in the workplace you are creating an example that could prove to be detrimental to your work.

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