My article from : The Truth One Magazine and online
Workplace negativity is an increasing problem in today’s times and often results in loss of confidence, control, and harmony among peers. Workplace negativity can significantly impact morale and productivity. Even if the job roles are interesting it certainly doesn’t help if one’s office is full of bad vibes and derision.
According to a survey held in the US, 83% of workers suffer from work-related stress, and it causes 120,000 deaths and results in $190 billion in healthcare costs yearly. Closer home in India, one out of five employees suffers from workplace depression. Another survey reveals that 95% of those who are suffering from stress tend to be millennials. Thus, one can infer that work-related stress is being experienced by employees across levels and not just among those in upper-middle or senior management.
To help curb this problem, here are seven ways by which you can minimize negativity in your workplace ~
Praise and recognition
The power of a few kind words or praise is remarkable and can uplift anyone’s mood and motivate them to work harder and better. One can’t always tell how the other person is feeling, but a few kind words can make anyone happy and cheerful. Managers need to take notice of the excellent work done by the employees and reward them on those.
More often than not, ineffective communication practices in the workplace are the root cause of frustration and negativity among the employees. Instead of blowing up at a coworker, take them aside and communicate why you’re stressed or upset and discuss how to prevent it from recurring. This will enable you to distress, calm down and look at things with a fresher viewpoint.
Building a strong company culture
Every organization would have a set of core values. Both employers and employees must be aligned on these core values. This would lead to higher productivity as well as a higher motivation among employees. Senior management must be cognizant of these values and communicate the same consistency throughout the organization. Building a culture takes time but it offers substantial benefits.
Opportunities to express opinions
Factors like pay, job location, working hours, working conditions, overtime hours, dress code, etc. are essential to every individual. Changes in these areas can result in serious questions, negative responses, and concerns. To help minimize friction due to changing policies, a meeting with the manager at regular intervals can be held where everyone can voice opinions. Regular staff discussions help address any employee issues before they turn into significant problems.
According to the India Employee Survey, 22% of respondents felt that their productivity was low because of overwork and stress. A room with fun games like a pool table, chess, carrom, and even gaming consoles can be kept so that employees can enjoy and take breaks to feel rejuvenated. This will enhance and enrich employee bonding and spread positivity.
Offer more than just money
A study conducted by Princeton University in 2010 indicated that higher income increases happiness by only up to $ 75,000 per year. However, beyond that threshold, higher income doesn’t increase happiness. Various other factors come into play. At workplaces, employees value the following:
- New challenges to tackle
- Meaningful work which can make employees feel that they are making a difference
- Visibility for consistent performers
- Diversity among the workforce
- Creative perks such as free gym memberships, option to work from home, flexi-hours, etc.
By ensuring that these factors are incorporated, an employer can improve employee morale as well as increase employee retention.
If employees aren’t feeling happy at work, they can be encouraged to take measures to feel better. They can spruce up their workstations with family pictures, table plants or merchandise of their favorite brands. Calming colours such as shades of blue or green can spread optimistic vibes. Employees could also be asked to keep their desks clutter-free as it alleviates stress.
Negative attitudes can have a long-lasting and adverse impact on employees and office productivity. Both as employees and employers, it is essential to take note of poor workplace attitudes and work toward turning them around.