Creating a positive work environment for your team is easier than you think and can have a big impact on your bottom line.

Happy workers are more productive workers. It’s a simple equation, but one that’s often overlooked in the business world. The truth is, workplace negativity can irreparably harm your business’s reputation, making it challenging for you to attract and retain employees.

Here are some tips to get you started on creating a positive work environment that helps you attract and retain employees and boost productivity. But before getting into the tips, let’s look at the impact of workplace negativity.

Impact of workplace negativity

Studies show a toxic workplace replete with negative gossip or poor supervision cause emotional exhaustion and burnout.

In addition, a negative atmosphere at work impacts employee morale and engagement, impacting their productivity and performance, leading to a high attrition rate.

Perhaps, the most striking evidence of this fact was during the pandemic when employees quit their jobs in unprecedented numbers. The top reason for the exodus was a toxic workplace culture.

What are the key causes of workplace negativity?

Many factors contribute to workplace negativity, including:

  • a bad manager
  • lack of mutual trust
  • office politics
  • lack of appreciation
  • job insecurity
  • lack of inclusivity
  • lack of transparency and communication from top leadership

Tips on reducing negativity and creating a positive workplace

Reducing negativity in the workplace starts with managers and leaders setting the tone by being positive and respectful. Here are the other tips leaders can adopt to create a positive work culture.

Recognize the signs of negativity:

The first step is to be aware of the signs of negativity in the workplace. Some common signs include:

  • complaining, gossiping, or speaking negatively about others
  • constantly stressed and disengaged employees
  • employees who are disruptive or hostile
  • increased absenteeism
Set clear standards and expectations for behavior:

Having a clear vision and mission statement will help employees understand the company’s:

  • goals and objectives
  • culture – how employees are treated and the tone that is set from the top
  • values – what is important to the company and how this is reflected in employee behavior
Foster a culture of respect:

Some tips to get started include:

  • creating a policy that outlines expectations for respectful behavior
  • training employees on how to recognize and deal with disrespectful behavior
  • establishing consequences for employees who engage in negative behavior
Encourage open communication:

A positive work environment is one where everyone is able to communicate openly and effectively without the fear of retaliation or judgment.

Apart from establishing a communication policy and making sure everyone is aware of it, hold regular team meetings, where everyone can discuss any issues or concerns they may have.

Recognize and reward good behavior:

Positive reinforcement goes a long way in motivating employees to behave in a positive manner.

There are many ways to reward employees for good behavior, including cash rewards, gifts, naming them as the employee of the month, and so on.

Ensure managers and supervisors have the right skills:

Often, organizations promote strong individual contributors to supervisory or management positions without ensuring they have the skills, training and support needed for success.

Proper supervision, including understanding organization values and  policies, as well as the knowledge of how to motivate and support others is critical.

Hire the right people

An effective way to minimize workplace negativity is to hire the right people who align with the company culture. The Resource Connection, Inc. (TRC) is an experienced, full-service staffing company that specializes in providing temporary, temp-to-hire and direct hire personnel. TRC can provide organizations with the best resources to build a productive and positive work environment.