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Tip of the Week: Are Your People Negative?

Here are some ways to keep negativity in check and create a positive atmosphere.

Negativity can kill a business. It usually takes over by stealth, slowly but surely poisoning the business by poisoning those who work for it.

You want workers who:

  • Have a “can do” attitude.
  • Have passion that customers can see — for what they do and the company the do it for.
  • Offer one another encouragement and practical advice.
  • Speak highly of their job, their company, and their industry. And your customers.

Negativity will give you the opposite. Do you see signs that your workers are starting to give you the opposite? Or that there’s already a full-blown case of negativity? Note that if you’re seeing signs of petty pilfering, you’ve probably got a bad case of negativity.

To find the cause, look at how your managers and company policies treat your employees. For example:

  • Do you have high, but achievable work standards? Or do you have standards that seem designed to make people fail?
  • Do your performance appraisals focus on what’s good, or do they serve mainly as a means of criticizing employees?
  • Is it normal or unusual for managers to say things like “Thanks for what you did out there today” or “I appreciate you and the quality of your work.”
  • Is there flexibility regarding the personal lives of employees? For example, how easy is it for an employee to take off work for a dental appointment?
  • Are your managers consciously thinking about how to inject positive energy into your teams? If not, they are leaving a vacuum that negativity can move right into.
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