One negative team member can ruin the morale of an entire workplace, often causing other team members to feel underappreciated and overly criticized. Learning how to control the response to negativity is important to maintaining productivity and keeping your employees feeling positive about the work that they are doing. Using tools that help you reduce the impact of your negative employee is the simplest solution to determining whether there is a real problem.

When You Should Act

An employee with a complaint isn’t always just a person with a bad attitude. There are some occasions when there is a valid complaint that requires taking action. Listen to what your employees have to say, even when the complaint comes from someone who you feel has a more pessimistic attitude than others. In some cases, there may be a real problem that needs to be handled to make the workplace more efficient. Complaints about unsafe behaviors are particularly important to investigate since accidents in the workplace can have a big impact on your company in several different ways.

Be an Example

Taking charge of the situation at work may be as simple as focusing on the positive aspects and encouraging your employee to do the same. When your negative employee has a complaint, take the time to point out the things that are working and ask if your employee has a solution to their problem. You may find that by modeling a positive attitude, your employee is more willing to do the same.

Be Supportive

When a good employee suddenly becomes more quarrelsome or unexpectedly starts finding faults in others, there is a good change that there are personal problems affecting their performance at work. Provide encouragement toward resolving the issues while enforcing the idea that there aren’t any excuses for a poor attitude in the workplace.

Be Firm

When negativity becomes overwhelming, it is time to take action. Talk to your employee about how their behaviors and attitudes are affecting others in the office and set firm guidelines for the future. For example, if complaints are becoming too frequent and are often unfounded, make sure that your employee knows that there will be consequences for future complaints that are unfounded. Follow up on the action plan that you have developed to ensure your negative employee knows that their behaviors are unacceptable.

Let Go

Firing an employee is a serious action that shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you have tried several different tactics to encourage change, then it may be time to let go of a negative employee who is causing other workers to lose focus in the workplace. The attitude of one employee can have a dramatic effect on productivity and morale in the office, making it important for everyone to have professional behaviors even when there are personal problems at home.

Taking firm action by developing a plan for employees to follow is often effective in managing a negative employee. By setting an example and creating a positive environment at work, your employees will be able to really enjoy their job and will be more focused and constructive during work hours.

Guest Authored By: Rebecca Whiteside writes on behalf of HR Payroll Systems. Find more human resources articles on Google Plus.

Tess Taylor

Tess Taylor is the Founder and CEO of HR Knows

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