How to deal with Occasionally Negative Employees

How to deal with Occasionally Negative Employees

There are those in almost every office that ooze negativity. This is probably because they don’t like their jobs, they feel they are being treated or that there home life is in bad shape, whatever the reasons may be, it is infectious. But, sometimes people who are normally positive become negative towards a task or person, and there may even be a legitimate reason that they are angry. There are a few great approaches for dealing with those that aren’t normally negative. Try the following:

Listen to your employee’s complaints, whatever they may be. Hear them out until you are certain that they have expressed everything that they felt needed to be heard. Sometimes, you will notice that certain negative statements have been repeated, if you hear this, it means they don’t feel like they have been heard. If this happens, clarify that you understand what they are talking about and plan to come up with a solution.

You decide if it is legitimate – If you have deemed the situation that they are in, or the complaint that they have, is justifiable then ask them if there is anything that you can do to help them. Sometimes people just want to be heard, and will immediately have a sense of calm and ease. If they do ask for your help, provide them with advice on how to deal with their negativity.

Keep in mind that you are not the counselor and that you can really only provide short term advice that gives them a direction towards bettering their attitude. Avoid giving any sort of long term advice because this may make you no longer just a boss, but a counselor. However, you can point them towards people who do deal with long term advice, such as human resources, seminars, books, or counselors. Know your limits and you won’t strain your role as a boss.

Sometimes they just want to complain – Maybe the employee just wants a friendly ear to listen to them. If this is the case, then do not offer any advice or assistance, just listen. However, make sure that the employee does not over stay their welcome or talk too much. Listening to someone complain for a long time can be exhausting. Try changing the subject or simply telling the employee to move on to more positive subjects.

If their complaints are not legitimate, they telling them what you think. Tell them that you care that they are upset or negative but that you don’t agree with their attitude. This will show them that you listened, but will also show that you don’t approve.

Try to back out of any additional conversations regarding any one of these approaches. Encourage them that they be positive in the work place, but that it is also okay to be able to express them selves. This should bring a sense of ease to any of those that aren’t typically negative employees.