Expert Advice for Motivating Negative Employees in 2022

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how to motivate negative employees

When you have negative employees in your organization, it can really make things difficult for you to conduct your business properly. It will lead to a lot of undesirable outcomes such as greater turnover and very poor job satisfaction.

There is also the fact these individuals can affect the morale of the entire organization and make the whole workplace a very toxic environment. It will ultimately lead to an overall decline in productivity, and that will, in turn, affect the company’s bottom line. The last thing any company would want is to have to lower their profits. This is why it is so important to know how to deal with negative employees in the workplace seriously and professionally. It should be your goal to make sure that the office is a comfortable place to work in for all employees.

Let us take a look at some ways you can motivate your employees who are feeling negative about their work and their place in the workplace.

How Bad is It?

Before managing negative employees, you need to be aware of how widespread negativity actually is in your workplace. If you do not know the scale of things, you will not be able to deal with it properly. Make sure that you really observe any employee you think might have a negative attitude about their work. It can also not be just the work itself, it can be other things like their colleagues and also their leadership. You should also make sure that you ask other non-negative employees about instances where they noticed a poor attitude from their colleagues. You need to understand whether the group of people who have a poor attitude is larger than the group of people who have positive attitudes. 


Make sure that you conduct regular surveys about how your employees are feeling about their work and the workplace in general. It can be done through just casual observation or it can be done by making sure you question employees directly about their feelings regarding work.

When you do this, however, make sure that employees are able to do this anonymously. Otherwise, they may fear retribution and/or HR actions against them. If that does happen to be the case, then it will defeat the whole purpose of these surveys.

Make Sure that They Feel Comfortable and Safe

One of the major worries of most employees tends to be job security. Then there are also other factors that come into play. This includes things like proper compensation, the type of job assignments they get, and also the general conditions they are working in. You should try to do a quantitative survey where employees have to rank their feelings towards the workplace on a scale of 1 to 5. This will reveal how they truly feel about working at your company. You will then be able to determine whether or not the employee is suitable for that particular job position. 

Individual Concerns

If you feel like there are some particular employees who are openly demonstrating negative behavior in the workplace, then you should talk to those employees privately. You need to be able to ask questions that will reveal how they truly feel about the conditions they work in if the work schedules work for them, the per-day assignments, and also the relationship between their supervisors and them. 

You need to be able to understand if it is the fault of individual supervisors and managers that is leading to this poor performance and behavior. Find out how openly your employees are able to communicate with their supervisors. Also, make sure that they have all that they need in order to perform their jobs properly and perfectly.

Talk with Team Leaders and Supervisors

Make sure that you meet with your supervisors and team leaders in order to discuss their communication practices with their subordinates. You need to be able to figure out how constructive their feedback is. Also, it may be a good idea to give your supervisors refresher training materials that will help them improve their leadership capabilities. Your supervisors also need to feel completely comfortable when discussing any issues with upper management. 

Policies and Corrective Action

Make sure that all of your employees are aware of the disciplinary policies in place and the approach you take when someone does something wrong in the workplace. Provide examples that will show how undesirable these types of actions are. Make sure that they understand the importance of having a positive attitude within the workplace. Also, make sure that they realize the importance of interpersonal communication. 

Ask Your Employees for Suggestions

This is something that will always go down well with your employees. If you just openly ask for suggestions as to how to improve the workplace and its working environment from the employees themselves, you will get really valuable feedback.

One thing that we think you should firmly abide by is that you should never reward any negative employees no matter how good they are at their job.

Final Words

One of the first things that you should realize as an employer is that your employees are the absolute backbone of your company and that they are the main assets of your company. Without your employees, you will not be able to accomplish your goals and ultimately, you will have a failing business in your hands. We are pretty sure that this is something that you won’t really want. 

So, in order to make sure that your employees are properly motivated and happy, pay close attention to them. Coaching those employees who have negative attitudes. Make sure that you know what it is that really matters to them. You should recognize that not all employees are motivated by the same things. Therefore, getting to know employees on a personal level is paramount to making sure they are properly motivated, even your employees who may be acting a bit negatively.

We believe that if you follow the steps mentioned above, you will be able to deal with the issue of negative workers. This will not only improve the overall performance of your organization but will also create a much more comfortable environment for all employees. 

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