5 Tips to Help You Turn Workplace Negativity Into Positive Change

Improve Your Work Environment

Workplace Negativity
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You see a problem at work so you mention it to a coworker. He agrees with you and shares these concerns with a few more people. Before long, everyone is talking about it. This is how a simple complaint grows into workplace negativity that can eventually do great harm to a company.

Sure, one person complaining may not be too big a deal but, as the example above demonstrates, negativity has a way of spreading through a work environment like fire spreads through a gasoline-doused haystack.

Before long, one person complaining becomes 5 or 10 or even more. It can result in loss of productivity. It's hard to get things done when you and your coworkers are using all of that energy to complain about everything.

It's no wonder bosses don't like workers who whine incessantly. If you earn a reputation as a Negative Nelly, it may land you on your boss's least favorite employee list. So what can you do when you see things that aren't the way you think they should be? Is it better to keep your mouth shut so you don't cause workplace negativity or is saying something a wiser choice? The only way a problem can be resolved is if someone brings attention to it. That person can be you. If you do it the right way, you will make a positive change that may do a lot to improve your work environment. Rather than raising your boss's ire, you may instead be the recipient of his or her appreciation.

Here are 5 things you can do that will help you overcome workplace negativity.

1. Don't Try to Fix What Isn't Broken

We sometimes see problems where they don't exist. For example, you may not like how something is being done in your workplace. You may think there's a better way to do it but that doesn't mean your way is the right one.

Take a moment to think about it before you say something. Ask yourself if your way is really better or just different.

2. Take Your Complaint Through the Proper Channels

If you complain to your coworkers, all you are doing is spreading negativity. You must take the route that will give you the best chance of fixing the problem so figure out who can help you.

3. Only Give Constructive Criticism

Anyone can complain, but if you really want to affect change, you must have some ideas for how to solve the problems that are bothering you. Do your research and come up with possible solutions and then use your critical thinking skills to evaluate which ones will have the best results.

4. Pitch In

Get ready to get your hands dirty. If you point out a problem and present a list of possible solutions, get ready to help implement them. You will show your boss you have a stake in making improvements that will benefit the company.

5. Know When to Give Up

Your boss or another person to whom you bring your complaint may not be receptive to your concerns and many not be willing to do anything about it. There may not be anything you can do to change the situation and continuing to complain may only make things worse.

If the problem is one that is extremely serious, for example, it involves something illegal or unethical or is clearly doing the company harm, you have to escalate your complaint until you bring it to the attention of someone who can do something about it. If it's simply something that annoys you, you may just have to give up or look for another job.

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