The Best Ways to Manage Negative Employees

The Best 15 Ways to Manage Negative Employees

 In every organization, there is at least one employee who is difficult to deal with or doesn’t get along well with others. As a manager, you will come across a worker who doesn’t do as expected.

An employee with negative behavior can infect your team negatively in a short time. A worker with a bad attitude is destructive to your business and can cost your company. He or she can lead to loss of customers, employee morale, or a great worker. Negative workers also lower productivity and cause increased turnovers.

A negative worker should be dealt with immediately before he or she spreads negativity. You should understand how to manage negative employees in a less painless experience for you and your team. In this post, I will share some ways you can fix the problem of being confronted with a negative employee.

Be a Good Listener

A negative employee may be acting out due to personal or workplace issues. You can convert an employee’s negative attitude to an opportunity for giving feedback that will help. Being a good listener will help you understand what an employee is saying. Understanding enables you to know how to help them change their view on workplace conditions.

Do Your Research

When you sense negativity, take your time and learn about the situation of an employee. Find out if it is an influence that caused an employee to be negative or it’s just his or her behavior. Avoid as much as you can making narratives that are based on assumptions. This helps you to solve the situation effectively.

Conduct Damage Control

A negative worker can influence and damage the morale of other workers as days progress. You should address the situation immediately. You should note how the behavior of a negative worker is affecting your entire team. Look for case scenarios to learn more about the issue.


Ensure you write down the key points when you’re having issues with a negative worker. It acts as a record of an employee’s bad behavior. Many people don’t write down negative behavior with the hope that it was just a one-time thing and it won’t happen again. A good manager knows that documentation for negative behavior is important. This is because you might need to let go of a negative person in your organization and records help for reference.

Don’t Get Caught in Workplace Gossip

You will find instances where a negative worker will try to get other workers to gossip about a situation. Be uncomfortable in discussing some things or take that conversation to another angle. Restrain from gossip in the place of work and lead by example. As a manager, your role is to be a positive example to your workers.

Spot Negative Behavior

While at work, observe and see different interactions between your workers. If you notice a negative person, observe how other workers react to that person and how that person behaves. Ensure you find examples and situations of negative behavior. Go to the negative worker and let him or her know that such behavior is unacceptable in your organization. 

Reinforce Desired Behavior

The role of a manager is like that of a parent. A parent praises the good choices of a child to redirect it from negative behavior. In the same way, when you see a negative worker displaying desired behavior in the workplace, give them positive feedback. This encourages them to be positive. You’re not just a manager to your workers, but also their parents and therapist.

Give Clear Feedback on Behavior

As a manager, don’t spend months complaining about the behavior of a negative worker. Give them clear feedback on what they should be doing differently. However, tough feedback can be uncomfortable for both you and the worker. Ensure you learn how to do it in a reasonable way. You should lower the worker’s defensiveness and give specific information needed for change.

Inform the Worker Impact of Negative Behavior

Make the negative worker know what impact and influence he or she is having on the workplace. Use examples and scenarios to make the worker understand that, complaining about how nothing is right in the workplace brings down the mood and hope of other workers. Moreover, other workers will be unwilling to engage with a negative worker in the future. Being avoided will affect the effectiveness and productivity of a negative worker also.

Ask the Employee Cause of Their Negativity

Ask and let the worker tell you if it is an issue at work or a worker’s personal life. For example, it can be a divorce or the loss of a close family member. You might not be able to do something about it but you can sympathize with them and give them hopeful wishes. This helps them see that you are concerned about them. It will also present a good chance to ask the worker to keep their personal issues from affecting their performance at work.

Find Common Purpose

Your workers need to feel connected to the purpose and objectives of your organization. It gives them another reason to show up for work besides money. In an organization where there is no common purpose, their energy can end up being directed in a negative direction. Also, foster good employee relationships through employee developments.

Focus on Creating Solutions

Do not focus on just the negative side of employee actions in your approach. Instead, focus on creating alternatives on how the worker can create positive energy for himself and coworkers. Hold with him or her positive and encouraging conversations to lead him/her in a different direction. Again, on finding a cause of negativity, find ways to solve the problem.

Be Consistent

When you say you’re not comfortable with negative behavior as a manager, don’t be okay with it sometimes. Your workers are always on the lookout to see what you do rather than what you say. You should only set standards that you’re willing to hold on to them. For example, if a worker is always submitting a certain report late, don’t be upset at times and okay at times.

Consider Disciplinary Actions if Everything Fails

All businesses need written laws on disciplinary actions to be taken on certain negative behaviors. At work, there are misconducts worth of punishment, termination and there is just irritating behavior. As a manager, you can’t fire a worker because you don’t like him or her, they don’t agree with your opinions, or they don’t approach work the same as you.  

Be Courageous

Even after discussions and all measures to deal with a negative worker, he or she may still continue to behave negatively. This may call for importance to address the problem directly. If you allow a worker who brings your team down to stay in your organization, you may create a bad example for other workers. Your priority should be the well-being of your team. Although it might be hard, firing a negative worker is the last option.

Ways to Manage Negative Employees

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Ways to Manage Negative Employees

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Ways to Manage Negative Employees

Ways to Manage Negative Employees

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Ways to Manage Negative Employees

Ways to Manage Negative Employees

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Ways to Manage Negative Employees