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Getting Rid of Negative Attitudes in the Workplace

written by: Nicky LaMarco•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 9/23/2009

In the workplace, people may have negative attitudes about their job, coworkers, or the company itself. These attitudes affect everyone's productivity. What can you do to get rid of this problem, or at least minimize it?

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    Getting Rid of Negative Attitudes in the Workplace

    business fight Negative workplace attitudes can affect everyone. They can reduce overall productivity, be damaging to group morale, and even cause the loss of good employees. Even if just a few people in the workplace have a negative attitude, it usually spreads to others as well, because of the fact that negative workplace attitudes seem to spread faster than positive attitudes. Without a way of controlling the spread of negativity within the office, the effect can spread like wildfire, and create a very bad environment for people to work in.

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    The Causes of Negative Workplace Attitudes

    There are a number of things that can encourage negative workplace attitudes. Sometimes there are a few people in the office that seem to enjoy causing problems, or spreading rumors. This not only wastes valuable work time, but can cause conflicts, hurt feelings, and the possibility of scandal and sabotage. In today’s work environment, this could also lead to law suits, especially if discrimination or harassment is involved.

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    The Effects of Negative Workplace Attitudes

    There are a number of ways in which negative workplace attitudes can cause problems in a work environment. People tend to be much less focused on work when there is an overall bad attitude in the office. This can also hinder creativity and innovation, and can lead to employees being more defensive and protective, which isn’t productive behavior. Less work tends to be done as a group when there is a problem with negative workplace attitudes, not only because of the lack of overall productivity, but because much time is wasted with gossip and complaining. The overall loyalty of employees tends to drop, as well as group camaraderie and teamwork.

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    Ways to Reduce Negative Workplace Attitudes

    It’s important to find ways to reduce negative workplace attitudes, and instead encourage positive attitudes and cooperation. This often requires careful observation and perhaps asking some questions, to find out if there are a few specific individuals who are instigating the problems. If so, it can help to find out what is causing them to feel and behave in this fashion. Of course, sometimes certain people just have a tendency to like to complain, but often there is an underlying problem that can be causing the issue to occur, which if resolved, can not only solve the negative attitude problems, but improve other factors in the work environment as well. For example, if an employee perceives an overall issue with management, or with how work is being performed, they might have ideas on how things could be improved. Without being provided with an avenue for presenting their thoughts and ideas, negative workplace attitudes can result. However, their ideas for improvement might be good ones, and could benefit everyone.

    Individually, it can help to simply stop listening to negative comments that are being made around you. Remember that bad moods and negative attitudes are very contagious, but you do have a choice as to whether you give in to them or not. Just realizing this fact can reduce your frustration, and help you discover ways to improve the overall attitude within the workplace.