Just one negative employee can deflate the morale of an entire department or workplace and, therefore, problems relating to poor attitude at work should be addressed immediately. Conversely, displaying a positive attitude at work can help reduce stress, improve customer relations and enhance the productivity of work teams. Businesses need to make clear what type of behavior will not be tolerated and must take appropriate legal action when policy is ignored.
Put It In Writing
The first step to addressing attitude in the workplace is to clearly define, in writing, what type of behavior will and will not be tolerated. US Legal recommends detailing a policy concerning attitude in a corporate handbook that is distributed to all new employees as soon as they join the company and also placing signs that address negativity in the workplace in public areas, such as a lunchroom and bathroom.
Schedule a Mediation
Scheduling a mediation between two employees who have expressed negative attitudes toward one another can be a crucial step toward changing their behavior. Having a third person present to offer an objective opinion regarding the situation that sparked conflict can often help settle the dispute and effect a positive change in attitude going forward. It’s important to document every meeting that pertains to workplace attitude and add it to an employee’s file.
Regular performance reviews are one of the best tools a supervisor can use to address an employee with an attitude problem and to let him know how his attitude is affecting the entire workplace, according to Nancy Aldrich, superintendent of human resources with the Arlington Heights Park District. During this review session, employers can also set limits on the employee’s behavior and indicate the consequences that will occur if there is no change in attitude during a given time period.
Terminating an employee due to negative attitude should be a last report and one taken only after meetings, mediation and possibly even temporary suspension. It is important to have written documentation of every attempt to rectify the employee’s attitude through legal means such as mediation and private meetings with superiors, and it will also prove helpful when linking the bad attitude with poor productivity.