How One Person's Negative Attitude Affects the Whole Work Culture

by Justin Reynolds on May 23, 2016 1:00:00 PM

How One Person's Negative Attitude Affects the Whole Work Culture by TINYpulseEveryone has their bad days at work. But some employees have bad weeks — or even bad months.

While managers may be tempted to let frustrated employees blow off steam thinking that they’ll come around sooner or later, negative attitudes in the workplace can harm businesses drastically, from morale to the entire organizational culture. Here’s how:

 

Employees Become Less Engaged

We’ve all had extremely negative coworkers at one time or another. It seems as if these individuals are pessimistic to the point that they’d probably find a reason to complain about an across-the-board raise for the entire team.

Today’s workers have so much on their plates. In fact, according to our Employee Engagement Report, nearly 70% of employees feel as though they are unable to tackle all of their job responsibilities each week. That’s tough enough as it is. Add in a coworker who’s constantly complaining about everything, and managing a workload gets that much more difficult. When negative attitudes infiltrate the workplace, employees become disengaged and less productive. And what does less productivity mean for a business? Less revenue.

 

Loss of Creativity as Workers Focus on What’s Wrong

How One Person's Negative Attitude Affects the Whole Work Culture by TINYpulseSOURCE: giphy.com

Brainstorming sessions are supposed to be fun. Workers get together and bounce ideas off one another until they hopefully come up with something fantastic. But these kinds of sessions will only be successful if workers are in good moods and don’t mind participating.

Rather than thinking about how their companies can become stronger, workers with negative attitudes are more likely to simply think about how much they hate their jobs. During brainstorming sessions, they become the proverbial wet blanket in the room, making everyone else uncomfortable. As a result, team creativity takes a dip for the worse — which stifles innovation.

 

Unhappy Employees Create Unhappy Customers

When employees are unhappy at work, it becomes increasingly unlikely they’ll be able to fake it with your customers. Eventually, they’ll take out their bad mood on their clients — which could very well cause those clients to take their business elsewhere. If that’s not bad enough, after they drop you, your clients may decide to vocalize their terrible experiences amongst their friends or, worse, across social channels.

According to an American Express study, folks are more than twice as likely to tell other people about their bad experiences compared to their good ones. That being the case, managers should be extremely wary when negative attitudes start to creep into the workplace.

 

They Also Create Additional Unhappy Coworkers

How One Person's Negative Attitude Affects the Whole Work Culture by TINYpulseSOURCE: giphy.com

Even the most positive employees are bound to break down when they’re forced to work with extremely negative peers on a regular basis. So it’s only a matter of time before workers with negative attitudes rub off on other team members, bringing them down with them.

Nobody wants to be around someone who’s constantly talking about how terrible everything is. Since employee happiness is linked to productivity, managers would be wise to do everything they can to extinguish negative attitudes the moment they rear their ugly heads. Instead of letting problems fester, be proactive and try to nip them in the bud whenever you can.

Thanks to employee engagement platforms that enable employees to share their ideas and feelings anonymously, managers are able to keep their fingers on the pulse of the team’s collective attitude. If they see unwelcomed trends developing, they can act swiftly to improve morale by making appropriate data-driven changes.

The recipe for a healthy company includes happy workers with positive attitudes. If you notice any of your workers’ attitudes beginning to take a turn for the worse, intervene immediately. The rest of your staff — and your bottom line — will thank you.

 

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This post was written by Justin Reynolds

Justin Reynolds is a freelance copywriter, journalist, and editor based in Connecticut.

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