How One Negative Employee Can Sour the Bunch
May 12, 2023
By Linda Olejniczak, courtesy of SBAM-approved partner ASE
It just takes one bad apple…so the saying goes. One negative employee can have a significant impact on the work environment and the morale of other employees. Here are some ways in which a negative employee can affect work:
Decrease in productivity: A negative employee may not be motivated to work and may have a negative attitude towards their work, which can lead to a decrease in productivity. This can be contagious, and the negativity can spread to other employees.
Decrease in morale: When a negative employee is constantly complaining, criticizing, or causing conflicts, it can create a toxic work environment. This can cause other employees to feel demotivated, stressed, and unhappy, leading to a decrease in overall morale.
Increase in turnover: Employees who are constantly dealing with negative behavior from a colleague may choose to leave the organization, which can result in an increase in turnover. This can be costly for the organization, as they will need to spend time and resources recruiting and training new employees.
Damage to the company’s reputation: If a negative employee is interacting with customers or clients, their negativity can damage the company’s reputation. Negative interactions with customers can lead to negative reviews, which can affect the company’s brand image and future business opportunities.
Correcting a negative employee’s behavior can be a challenging task, but it’s essential for maintaining a positive work environment. Here are some steps that employers can take to correct negative behavior in employees:
- The first step is to identify the specific behavior that is causing the problem. This may require speaking to other employees or observing the negative employee’s behavior yourself.
- Once the behavior has been identified, speak to the employee privately and in a non-confrontational manner. Explain your concerns and how the negative behavior is affecting the workplace.
- Offer feedback that is constructive and helpful, rather than criticizing or blaming the employee. Give specific examples of negative behavior and how it can be corrected.
- Set clear expectations for the employee’s behavior moving forward. This may involve creating a plan for improvement, setting performance goals, or outlining consequences for continued negative behavior.
- Offer support and resources to help the employee improve their behavior. This may involve offering training or coaching, providing feedback or support, or connecting the employee with resources such as an employee assistance program.
- Regularly monitor the employee’s progress and provide additional support and feedback as needed. Celebrate improvements and progress made and encourage continued growth and development.
It’s important to approach negative behavior in a constructive and supportive manner. By setting clear expectations, providing feedback and support, and monitoring progress, employers can help correct negative behavior and maintain a positive work environment.