In every workplace there are negative attitudes that eat away at the productivity of everyone associated with the organization. These people may go unidentified for some time, all the while causing major damage. Quite often they’re good at their jobs, but like an infection, their attitudes can spread rapidly, without major symptoms, until the entire company is in jeopardy. Look for workers who exhibit negative attitudes, like complaining constantly, exaggerating coworkers mistakes, starting rumors and spreading gossip, consistently finding problems with the ideas of others, refusing to cooperate with changes made in the workplace, setting expectations for others that are higher than those they set for themselves, challenging a managers authority in front of others.
Once managers identify the bad attitudes, which may be dragging everyone down, they must have the tools necessary to deal with these negative Nellies and the effects they have had on others. When you find the answers, what now? Instead of going head on into the “You have a bad attitude” script, take a minute to think through the situation by answering a few important questions. What effect has this behavior had on productivity or morale? Is the negative behavior new to this person? How do this person’s actions differ from the expectations set for overall employee behavior? What’s the effect of this employee’s behavior on those with whom he or she works closely? How may the workplace change if a more positive attitude was had by all? Once the answers to these questions have been fully analyzed carefully, it’s time to act.
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