The Key to Identifying (And Addressing) the Root Cause of Negativity Within Your Worksite


Everyone experiences job related anxieties and has a bad day from time to time. However, persistent negativity in the workplace can be incredibly damaging in the long run. Not only does it harm morale, but it can also hinder productivity.

Identifying and addressing the root cause of negativity in your work site can seem like a daunting challenge, especially because it could be due to a number of issues. By examining your workplace carefully, you can find potential causes. Once you identify probable problems, you enable yourself to become a champion for change.

How to Identify and Address the Root Cause of Negativity Within Your Worksite

Observation is a critical part of finding the primary cause(s) of negativity in the workplace. After all, how people react to one another, the general mindset of company leadership and outside pressures can all influence the mood of an organization. Often, by listening and watching, you can figure out which issue is at the root of the problem.

Both excessive workloads and a lack of challenging or meaningful work can damage morale. When teams are overburdened, it is common for employees to become frustrated and resentful. Boredom, even though it is on the other side of the experience spectrum, can also wreak havoc on an organization for similar reasons. In either instance, it is often best to right-size workloads and to ensure that everyone has a chance to succeed and develop within their roles. Reach out to employees and inquire about their concerns as well as their career goals, making sure they are comfortable having an open and honest conversation. Based on their feedback, scale back, shift or add responsibilities, to ensure they are challenged, but not overwhelmed.

Constant concerns about the future, whether it is regarding the company, its management or an individual’s job security can also allow negativity to thrive. Leadership can alleviate these stresses with strong, clear communication. For example, make sure that your entire team understands the company’s status, goals and plans for the future. Ensure employees know when they are doing well and when there is room for improvement. Share ongoing business developments and celebrate both individual and corporate successes. This transparency will help to establish a culture of trust and ensure employees find satisfaction in their role.

How to Proceed When the Root Cause of Negativity is Outside of Your Control

At times, negativity is a culture issue; it is so deeply integrated into the overall mindset that overcoming it as an employee feels practically impossible. Plus, if you do not feel like you fit in or you believe your values do not align with the organization’s mission or priorities, even smaller issues can be incredibly hard to tolerate. When this occurs, finding a place where you are a good match for the company’s culture may be your best option. Otherwise, you could be stuck fighting an uphill battle that you simply cannot win.

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RealStreet saved us more than once with temporary help on some of our most demanding construction projects, particularly when we needed experienced, responsible and professional individuals on such short notice. We were particularly grateful for the Quality Control Manager (QCM) you were able to provide while our full-time QCM was on short-term disability, at the Read More…

Michael S. Shevitz, LEED Green Associate, Vice President

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