Recruitment: How to handle negativity in the workplace

Sheep Central June 17, 2024

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NEGATIVITY in the workplace can be caused by a number of factors and can be very damaging to any business, small or large, operating in the red meat supply chain.

A toxic workplace can be the cause of hampering teamwork, higher turnover rates and also disengaging once-passionate and driven employees.

So how can an employer ensure the workplace is productive, engaged and free of negativity? Here’s some tools:

Find the cause

An issue can only be resolved once the root-cause is known.

An employer should speak to their employees and try to gauge whether it is a certain individual or a collective that is upset.

Use open-ended questions and sit down one-on-one with staff to talk through any issues.

If an employer suspects it is just one person, speak to that employee alone and try to understand the root of their concerns; it may be a legitimate reason such as family illness or mental illness in which case the employee needs to be helped instead of reprimanded.

If not, explain the effects their negative attitude is having on co-workers and the workplace and work through the causes of their feelings.

Unfortunately negativity can spread throughout the workplace and become consuming, so an employer should never hope it will just go away.

Let staff know you have an open-door policy and that you are open to discussing issues whenever they want to address them.

Listen to concerns and follow-up on any problems that arise; if employees know their seniors are addressing their concerns, it is less likely they will feel resentment or bitterness towards the business and their superiors.

Be positive

One of the best ways to fight negativity is with positivity; a positive workplace culture and environment will promote productivity and engagement amongst employees.

A positive attitude should filter down through management, so employers should always look to themselves first when dealing with negativity in the business.

Ensure there is consistent positive communication amongst staff; provide employee feedback when needed; show appreciation to staff; and effectively communicate the business’ overall mission and vision.

An effective team needs to know what they are working towards and why, so each individual knows their purpose in the business.

Be preventative

Some employees are naturally more negative than others, and during interviews can be the optimum time to determine this before hiring.

Ask applicants how they handle conflict, what they think about their previous employer and how they handle stress; if the majority of their answers is critical feedback, then this can be a warning sign that they could potentially bring negativity into the workplace.

Carefully consider whether their attitude could potentially be a bigger problem in future and weigh up whether the hire is worthwhile; after all it is always better to prevent a problem before it arises rather than having to fix it.


Source: Meat Processors Pty Ltd



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