Do you work in an environment where you feel like your energy levels keep dropping by the day? Mainly because of co-workers or employers endlessly complaining, gossiping.
If yes, you may not know but that toxicity is likely to take and the toll on you even when you are not involved in the act.
Think of it this way. Look back at the years you began working. It could have been an internship, a small or big contract or a volunteering opportunity somewhere. Irrespective of your position, think of the people that you worked with while at that place. Think back on what their attitudes towards work were.
Think of those that loved their jobs and those that kept complaining from the word go. A remarking difference right?
Who did you feel more comfortable around? I bet it’s those that loved their jobs and had nothing to complain about.
It may not seem like it but at the end of the day, attitude plays a huge role in a work environment. It impacts quite a number of things. The quality of the results you produce both as an individual and as a company. It also impacts the attitude of everyone else around you.
As a leader or employer, working towards preventing or fighting negativity in a workplace is a major responsibility. Taking action early enough can mitigate chronic negativity that may result into higher employee turnover.
Not to mean that complaints should not be made at all. There are definitely going to be bad days at work. And it is okay for you as a leader or employee to complain. Especially if it is a genuine reason or problem. And as a good leader, it is important that you take immediate action on each and every complaint brought up by employees.
However, it becomes unfortunate when complaining becomes part of a company’s culture.
What are some of the ways to deal with negativity in the workplace?
The weakness we possess as humans is that we are quick at blaming the others. How about we try this? Start by reflecting on your life and character. Do you find yourself whining and ranting about almost everything? Could it be the challenges that you are facing? And have nowhere to let it out but at your workplace or with your co-workers after they have made the slightest mistake?
Change begins with you. Most times, the energy you give off to people, is the same energy you receive. And so toning down your negativity and aggressiveness will automatically mean that your co-workers will treat you the same.
Whether as an employee/co-worker or a leader, you need to be on the lookout of whatever is happening in the office or around you. It could be a situation of anxiety/argument or a problem/ complaint that makes your employees or co-workers feel uncomfortable. These tend to build up. So to keep the fire from spreading, address the concerns on a one on one or individual basis.
Even if it’s an issue that you can’t handle or solve fully, make an effort to reduce on the impact of the problem. For instance, if one of the employees is struggling with their mental health, recommend a therapist. If you are able to cover the costs, have them visit a therapist. Try all you can to support them.
If you feel like you are losing it (getting angry) at any one point, take a walk outside, feel the breeze and clear your mind. Or slowly walk or pace around as you count from 1 to 10. After recollecting your thoughts, and are ready to get back into the office. If that doesn’t help, ask for a day off. At the end of the day, your mental health matters the most.
As a leader, be the pace setter. Lead with a positive attitude. Put emphasis on positive language. For instance, in meetings, start with the positives. For instance, start by asking your team what their biggest win has been so far, how they are doing, and how you can be of help.
While at this, be sure to create a safe space where everyone is free and comfortable to respectfully table their concerns. Give the employees an opportunity to voice what they feel. The more you meet and address these issues, the less likely it is for the pressing issues to become bigger problems that can take a toll on your company as a whole. Remember, a problem shared is a problem half solved.
Recognize your employees for achievements and something they have attained however small it may be or seem. It creates a big difference in how your employees feel about work through increasing work morale and productivity in general.
Holding regular refresher sessions and training also helps to keep your employees in check with the company framework, mission, visions and values. It helps them keep focused other than feeling lost. Give them an opportunity to express their thoughts and concerns about the existing policies.
Encourage them. Give them more control and freedom in the work. This creates professional maturity and reduces negativity issues in the workplace.
Lastly, it is important that both employees and employers work towards changing negative attitudes in the workplace to avoid conflicts and crises from arising.
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