Dealing With Negative Co-Workers
Whether they’re aware of it or not, maybe employees can become disgruntled in their personal lives, and bring that attitude into the workplace. Sometimes it’s harmless, and hopefully it doesn’t last too long. But for some, this attitude could create further problems in the workplace. Here’s how to deal with a negative co-worker:
Give them a space to communicate work-related stressors
Firstly, you’ll want to take note of if they are negative for work-related reasons or personal. Take your employee aside and let them know that you’ve noticed a dip in their energy or motivation lately. Are they unhappy with something in the project or team they’re working on? With your management methods? The company? Make it a point to say that you want to address problems and especially, create solutions. From here, you can determine if it really is work-related or not.
Don’t pry about personal matters, but provide solutions where you can
Now, their behavior could very well be due to their personal life matters seeping into work. This unfortunately happens from time to time. Again, take your employee aside and also ask if they are dealing with any additional stressors at home. Take note, depending on how close you are to your employees, you don’t necessarily need to know all their problems. Just let them know that if there is an issue, they have some options. Maybe you’d rather they took one personal day off in order to re-energize themselves and come back ready to work. Maybe you could encourage them to see a professional to speak to about their issues. Maybe it’ll come down to re-strategizing their project plans in a way that is more manageable.
Determine if it’s career-motivated
Sometimes, these behaviors don’t occur from one specific situation, but rather from low motivation for the work itself. What were these employee’s work goals when you first hired them? Have they surpassed them? Do they still seem motivated by them? Ask your employee if they are happy in their current position, if they have other career ambitions, and if you can find ways to help. This will remind them that they do have a workplace that nurtures their growth, and it is them up to them to decide if it is right for them.
Whether it’s turned into an office bullying situation or it’s an individual with low energy, it’s always helpful to encourage a positive work atmosphere. This way, employees know that negativity isn’t tolerated in the first place.