The workplace environment at your small business can be a complex place. There are a various interactions that go on between all of the employees. Some of these are good such as positive mentorship type relationships and other pleasantries that allow for employees to be happy and possibly look forward to working with each other boosting productivity and innovation. Unfortunately not all people at the office can get along like this. Indeed, some aren’t necessarily trying to be difficult but tend to be “Debbie Downers” and constantly bring up negatives and complain about the littlest thing. I am of course talking about office whiners. They are not confident in their own abilities and like to point out the flaws of others or problems with working conditions to explain to appear better if their “information” is taken into consideration. They can be extremely difficult in team based environments and anytime a group has one member that agitates the others productivity drops as ability to focus declines and the constantly delays stop the team and each worker from getting in the optimum work “flow”. The Wall Street Journal expands, “trying to stay neutral by just listening and nodding can also backfire, says Dana Brownlee, founder of Professionalism Matters, a corporate-training firm in Atlanta. “Before you know it, there’s another version of the story circulating, saying you were the one saying something negative about the VP. And they’re talking about you over by the Coke machine.”
And it can be tough to object without seeming self-righteous. “If you approach someone about their complaining, they may take it in a completely wrong way, and then you’ve alienated them,” says Jon Gordon, an author, consultant and founder of a Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., training firm. It’s better to try to bond with co-workers, while setting an example by not griping yourself, he says. When Kris Whitehead joined a new employer several years ago, his colleagues’ frequent work complaints “had a direct impact on my ability to sell,” says the Nashua, N.H., salesman. With the economy in a slump, “I had the same secret fears” of failure being voiced by co-workers, he says. Staying upbeat “was an extremely arduous task…”
Managepoint can help train your management team to deal with negative employees and low morale. We will coach you on the best approach to take with your company. Sue Shellenbarger of The Wall Street Journal talks more here about how to deal with a with negative employees.