Every company, no matter what they do, who they serve or what size they are, at some point will have a negative employee. If they are lucky, it will be one person, they will have a brief tenure, and the environment will bounce back nicely after they leave. However, it’s pretty likely it will not just be a single person. And, it seems unhappy and negative employees have a tendency to stick around for a lot longer than most people imagine. Lastly, by the time the negative influence moves on, there typically is some pretty bad collateral damage. If your Middle Market organization is encountering negative influences, you need to take action before the problem spreads.
When Negativity Goes Toxic In The Middle Market
Everyone has a bad day occasionally and sometimes we all vent about it. Complaining occasionally isn’t negativity. Being down about every decision, having a bad attitude and complaining constantly is. Being vocally negative, complaining all the time and undermining leadership is toxic to your work environment. If you think one unhappy employee can’t do much damage, you are wrong and could potentially be in for a long, hard and bad lesson.
Toxic negativity spreads quickly, and it can turn a lot of fantastic employees off. If they do not see leadership addressing or solving the problem, they lose faith. If it happens often and for long enough, you will see great employees leave. Worse, you may see them start to falter, quit trying as hard or even join in.
What Message Is Your Middle Market Company Sending By Keeping Negative Influences?
Firing people isn’t fun and even having difficult conversations with employees can be nerve wracking. However, as a leader, it is your job. Let’s say you have 50 fantastic employees and one toxic, not so great one. By allowing the behavior of the one employee to continue, what are you saying to your other employees? How are you demonstrating you value their time and efforts if you force them to continue being in a negative environment with someone who is literally ruining their day, every day?
When you have a negative influence, you have to resolve the issue. It doesn’t always mean letting someone go, but it does mean taking control and having difficult conversations.
Salvaging The Situation In Your Middle Market Environment
Once you’ve resolved or removed a negative influence, it will be work to return your environment to a more pleasant atmosphere. Depending on how long it went on, some employees may have a hard time moving on. It may help to provide space and someone for them to speak with – your HR team for instance. You could bring in some experts and have team building exercises. Obviously, you have to observe HR rules and regulations but pretending it never happened isn’t usually going to put things right.
Put extra effort into being present in your offices and in communicating face to face with all employees. Bringing your Middle Market company back to stasis after having a negative influence is not easy, but it is vital if you want to move forward and keep the valued employees you have.
Negative influences can swiftly infect your entire Middle Market organization and must be dealt with to keep your atmosphere from turning toxic. Make sure you work to quickly resolve negativity issues to prevent long term problems.
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