negative staff

Dealing with a Debbie Downer in the workplace

If you’re the skeptical type, it wouldn’t be too difficult to find a whole host of reasons right now to feel negative. The future of the country is up in the air, the summer so far has been a bit of a washout and the papers are full of tales of unrest and uncertainty.

In the workplace, negativity can spread like wildfire. So how exactly should you approach the situation if you have one employee who’s bringing down the rest of your workforce? Here, we share practical hints and considerations.

Listen!

Sometimes, people simply need a sounding board for their frustrations and concerns. Burying your head in the sand and hoping that things will fix themselves is very rarely a sensible strategy. Instead of just paying lip service to the concept of having an open door policy, make sure that you live by it.

Get to know your staff. Work out what makes them tick. Unearth the real issues that are at play. This is what makes the difference between a manager and a business owner.

Challenge negative thinking

There are external things going on that you and your business can have no control over. No one’s expecting you to solve all the problems in the world. If comments are being made about internal issues though, you need to tackle them.

If they’re true, take the time to explain the reasoning behind why things are the way they are and how employees can play a part in improving the situation. If false statements are being shared, speak up immediately and put the record straight. Sometimes, a little strong leadership is what’s needed to get things back on the right track.

Recognise the difference between a bit of negativity and serious mental health problems

Most of us are guilty of letting negative feelings take over now and again. Some might say that it’s all part and parcel of living in the modern world. As a business owner though, you have a responsibility to know the difference between this and mental health issues amongst your employees.

If you suspect that there are more serious problems at play, you have a responsibility to ensure that your staff are supported and given the professional assistance that they might need. In this situation, your first port of call should be to speak with an expert. Remember that discretion is key and you absolutely must honour the confidentiality of your employees.

The feeling and mood in many workplaces goes through peaks and troughs. It’s your job to make sure that your staff are motivated and productive. If you’re experiencing problems, it may be worthwhile to have a chat with us about your challenges. Get in touch today and we can have a chat at a time that suits you.