Keeping your team morale up and maintaining a positive working environment for staff goes hand-in-hand with a high standard of work your team produces and improved performance. Conversely, workplace negativity drains the energy from your organisation, leading not only to reduced productivity, but also higher staff turnover, power struggles, and a bad reputation.
It is clear that combatting workplace negativity is key to a successful business. Yet, in a working environment, disagreements are inevitable. Thankfully, as a business owner, there are several things you can do to keep your team harmonious.
1: Successfully diagnose workplace negativity
If you don’t know what is causing tension in the workplace, how can you attempt to solve it? You need to identify not only who is experiencing negativity at work, but also why they feel this way.
For this, communication is key. Staff forums are a great way to engage staff and allow for your employees to provide feedback on your organisation and feel like their voices are being heard. If you are aware of one person setting a negative tone, quietly take them to one side and take a collaborative approach in finding out what their issues are and how you can help to fix them.
2: Focus on positive contributions
When staff feel recognised for their achievements, they are happier at work as they feel of value. You can simply give verbal recognition, or try setting up a rewards programme which will not only encourage your staff to perform well but also thank them for their hard work.
When talking to your staff, it is also important to ask your team the right questions such as “What went well this week?” to draw out the positives rather than focus on any upsets or setbacks. This will help your staff realise that they have made a valuable contribution and are needed.
3: Tackle genuine workplace issues
While hearing complaints about minor problems or staff having a bad attitude for no apparent reason can be frustrating, if there are genuine problems in the workplace, do what you can to fix them.
If people are struggling with mental health issues, offer them support. If working hours are causing people stress, see if you can work around their other commitments. If someone is being harassed or discriminated against at work, take their complaint seriously.
You can also encourage your team to come to you with solutions rather than problems and ask them what they want to happen. This will make your job as the peacemaker easier, and reassure them that you care about their needs.