Management is never an easy task. When you have an employee with a bad attitude, you may feel like you’re pushed to your limits. But how do you manage a worker with a negative attitude without losing your temper too? Here are a few things you can do to manage more effectively.
What Do You Do About Workers with a Bad Attitude?
Identify Negative Employees
You might think that identifying negative employees is the easy part, but it can be more challenging. There are several behaviors that we may overlook as specifically negative. They can include:
- Undermining authority and criticizing decisions
- Constant complaints about typical interactions in the workplace, such as coworkers or customers
- Exaggerating problems made and placing blame on others
- Taking credit for other’s work
Focus on Results
It can be easy to slip into a discussion of their habits, but you’ll want to avoid this. When you make the conversation personal about what they have or haven’t done, they are likely to get defensive. Instead, focus on the results. Talk about how improvement in these areas will make them more successful in the job.
To make the discussion less about their behavior and more about creating a more positive office attitude, use “we” statements. Rather than saying, “You need to be more positive in the office,” say, “We cultivate a culture of positivity in the office, and to do that, we focus on gratitude and avoid gossiping.”
Be Direct and Specific
However, you don’t want to make the discussion feel passive-aggressive either. When something needs to be addressed, make it direct and specific. For example, if you need to address the problem because they’ve undermined management’s decisions, tell them precisely what happened and what you expect will be the change moving forward.
Give Them Space and Time
Your employee may not even think of themselves as negative. This news may have hit them like a ton of bricks, so they’ll need time to process the information. Let them think about the information you’ve discussed, and don’t be tempted to fill the silence with more explanations. Then give them the time to make improvements before following up.
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