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7 Ways To Curb Workplace Negativity And Create A Happier Work Environment

Posted: February 11, 2020

A number of offices have seen a drop in harmony among peers due to a negative office culture. Here are seven ways to deal with negativity in the office.

Workplace negativity is an increasing problem in today’s times and quite often results in loss of confidence, control and harmony among peers. Negativity in the workplace can significantly impact morale and productivity. The job roles may be interesting but it doesn’t help if the office is full of bad vibes and derision.

According to a survey held in the US, 83 percent of workers suffer from work-related stress. This leads to 120,000 deaths resulting in $190 billion in healthcare costs annually. Closer home, in India, one out of five employees suffers from workplace depression. Another survey reveals that 95 percent of those suffering from stress are millennials. One can infer that work-related stress is experienced by employees across levels and not just by those in upper-middle or senior management.

To help curb this problem, here are seven ways to minimise the negativity in your workplace-

Praise and recognition

The power of a few kind words or praise is remarkable. It uplifts the person’s mood and motivates 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 good work done by the employees and reward them on those.

Open communication

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 someone, take them aside and tell them why you’re stressed or upset. You can also sit and discuss how it prevent it from happening again. This will help you and the other person, calm down and look at things from a newer and fresher point of view.

Building a strong company culture

Every organisation has 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 higher motivation among employees.

Senior management must be cognisant of these values and communicate the same consistently throughout the organisation. 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, and dress code are essential to every individual. Changes in these areas can result in serious questions, negative responses and concerns.

To help minimise friction due to changing policies, a meeting with the manager at regular intervals where everyone can voice opinions may help. Regular staff discussions help address any employee issues before they turn into significant problems.

Recreational facilities

According to the India Employee Survey, 22 percent of respondents felt that their productivity was low because of over working and stress. A room with games like pool, chess, carrom or even a gaming console could be made for the employees to take breaks and relax. This will not only rejuvenate their spirits but enhance and enrich the bonding with each other.

Offer more than just money

A study conducted by Princeton University in 2010 indicated that higher income increases happiness only upto $75,000 per year. However, beyond that, higher income doesn’t increase happiness. Various other factors come into play here.

At workplaces, employees value if they have new challenges to tackle or if they feel like they’re doing work that makes them feel like they are making a difference. Employees like it when the company gives visibility to consistent performers and if there is a diversity among the workforce. They also value the company if it has creative perks like free gym memberships, flexible hours and the option to work from home.

If the employer ensures that these factors are incorporated, the employee morale and the employee retention rates can be improved.

Personalising workspace

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 from their favourite brands. Calming colours such as shades of blue or green 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 attitude and work toward turning it around.

Picture credits: Pexels 

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Ms. Geeta Ramakrishnan, Author of #1 Amazon Best Seller book ‘The Game of Change’ Intimidated

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