Identifying and Managing Negative Team Members in Your Organization

No matter what kind of position you work in, it’s necessary to minimize workplace negativity. For someone in a managerial position, workplace negativity can really get in the way of productivity. It can also create an unhealthy work atmosphere and infect workers who weren’t initially negative. Eventually, negativity can spill over from the workforce and start affecting clients as well.

If you’re not in a managerial position but you’re part of a negative team (or a team with some negative members) you have to guard against negativity. You may not realize it, but listening to negative team members complaining about various things day after day can make you negative and affect your productivity as well as your future with the company.

Identifying Negative Team Members

Whether you’re a team leader or a team member, your first step is going to be the identification of negative team members. As a team member yourself, you might already know who the negative ones are, but as a manager or team leader, it might require some digging because team members don’t always express their negativity in front of a team leader.

The best way to identify negative team members is to constantly be in touch with all the members of the team. Take the time to speak to your team members, even if it’s not regarding work. This way, you’ll be familiar with their personalities, and you’ll know which team members are more positive and which ones are negative.

Managing Negative Team Members

Once you know which team members are negative, you can start addressing the issue. Your first step, however, should be to take their comments seriously. Is there really any truth to what the negative team members are saying? Is there some kind of change required in the organization? You can also speak to other team members to get their input.

If, however, the team members are simply being negative for no real reason, you can ask them to come to you, the manager, directly with any complaints they may have rather than speaking about these with other team members. You can also invite feedback at team meetings and address the issues brought up. You can suggest that negative team members come up with solutions to the problem rather than simply complaining about the problem. However, if none of these solutions work, you may find it necessary to let the negative worker go and hire someone more positive in their place.