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How to Reduce Employee Negativity in Your Company


For anyone that is in upper management in their company, have you ever noticed when one employee starts to have a negative attitude at work, that others start to become negative as well? This kind of behavior has a domino effect. The bad vibes are so much of a distraction that they start to make the company as a whole a very negative place.

It is commonly understood that people feed off of others energy.

If you are experiencing this, you have a major problem at hand. Not only can negativity cause lack of engagement and a hostile environment, but it can cause high turnover, something that no company wants for many reasons. Although employee negativity is not a good sign for the company, don’t panic.

With these tips, you have the power to create a more positive workplace.

First, evaluate your company culture. You can do this by revisiting your organization's core values. If you are unclear of your values or think it is time for some of them to change, include your employees in the process. Let them share what they would like to see as the values and how the company culture could improve to make them happy and want to stay employed there. Employees want to be involved in decision making and appreciate when they feel like they can be honest and share their opinions. Although it may be simple to address negativity, it certainly is not easy.

One reason, amongst several reasons, employees can start to become negative is when they feel like they are wearing too many “hats” that they aren’t supposed to be wearing. They want to know exactly what their job descriptions are, so that they can be held accountable for their responsibilities. If they are doing tasks that were never defined to them clearly as being their duties, they are going to be unhappy. Try sitting down with each of your employees and asking them what their current responsibilities are, and compare their answers to their job description. If things aren't adding up, it’s time to make some changes.

We at Rising Sun, break employee engagement into three different groups. There are the employees who are very engaged, those who are somewhere in the middle, and the ones who are completely disengaged. One major issue that companies normally have is they spend 80% of their time trying to fix the group of disengaged employees when they should really be putting more time and effort into the ones who are in that middle group. If you focus on those employees in the middle, they have just enough engagement that they are most likely going to become more engaged once they see positive changes. If you are spending most of your time with the people who are significantly disengaged, chances are they are not going to change. As we spend more time and energy with the middle group of employees, we will see their engagement increase. As their engagement increases, the impact on the organization by the employees who are significantly disengaged will begin to be mitigated.

As you plan out your strategy for reducing employee negativity in your culture, it is important to keep the 10 Keys in mind, specifically Keys 2, 6, and 10.

2. Uniting Your Team—Building a culture of care and concern among and between employees.

6. Valuing What You Believe—Linking employees’ actions/behaviors to organizational values—building a healthy culture.

10. Realigning Your Efforts—Evaluating your own efforts to determine if they match your desired outcomes.

By using these tips along with the 10 Keys, it will help make your work environment a happier and more cohesive place to be.

We were struggling with employee turnover rates. Safety and quality issues were higher than we wanted. We decided we needed to make some major changes with training of supervisors and managers. We teamed up with Jim and Rising Sun Consultants for this training. Over a period of about 9 months we worked closely with Jim to improve employee morale, teaching managers how to deal with situations and creating teamwork among managers. During this training we started to see major improvements in many areas and now the turnover ratio of employees is very low. Morale is much better both for employees and for managers. It has drastically reduced injuries and quality issues. I would highly recommend Rising Sun Consultants to help you train your management team. Jim has a very unique and positive way to get people to interact. We are very pleased.

Brian Wise, President

BWise Manufacturing LLC.

Danielle McLaren