How to Deal with Negative Employees at the Workplace?

Negativity in a working environment is a threat to employee health.

Negativity in a working environment is a threat to employee health. If you are struggling with managing that one bad apple, you are in the right place. Read further to find out how you can keep your entire bunch from spoiling.

One rotten apple spoils the whole basket. Do you have such a character in your team — a person who makes the entire working space negative? It is a great hassle to keep the spirits of the whole team up when one person is the epicenter of negativity in the group. It’s critical to confront negativity head-on to boost team morale and figure out why this person and others on your team are unhappy. Let’s find out how a negative person impacts the team and the ways to deal with them.

One Bad Fish Spoils the Pond

Negativity in the workplace is quite infectious and spreads throughout your entire organization in a flash. Also, dealing with negative employees can be challenging, but not doing anything about the situation can be even more difficult.

The behavior of such an employee can be associated with both workplace stress and personal dilemmas. Whatever the problem might be, it is essential to resolve the issue to save the company from a potential crisis.

Here are a few ways in which negative entities impact the workplace environment:

1. Morale

A negative employee demotivates other people with their not-so-positive energy.

2. Productivity

People will dislike working with a “Negative Nick,” and productivity may suffer. As a result, you may lose jobs or get a reputation for missing deadlines. If you can’t deliver results, your clients will be dissatisfied and look for another option.

3. Mental Health

One bad fish spoils the pond — this phrase never sounded more accurate. The entire workplace environment suffers just because of one person. It impacts the mental health of not just one but all the employees.

4. Teamwork

Quite naturally, a negative employee does not attract people but instead pushes them away. Nobody wants to work with someone who destroys the mood and spirit of the workplace.

5. Absenteeism

Other employees, even some of your best, will not want to put up with the negativity, even if their positions are lucrative in different ways. If they’re scheduled to work with a challenging colleague, they might not show up for work, or they might even leave for brighter pastures.

The Solution

1. It’s Time to Talk it Out

If an employee’s behavior has a detrimental impact on the department, you should address it immediately. It’s essential to act quickly since negativity can soon spread. Tell your staff that their poor attitude is a performance concern when you speak with them. 

You can begin by reminding your employee that, in addition to fulfilling job obligations, it is company policy to respect the rights and feelings of others and to refrain from behavior that is harmful to himself, his coworkers, or the organization. A bad attitude has an impact on all of them.

2. Avoid Workplace Gossip

There will be times when unfavorable coworkers will try everything they can to bring you and your coworkers into the rumor. Set a good example by refraining from workplace gossip, diverting the conversation, or mentioning that you are uncomfortable discussing a specific topic.

3. Lend an Ear to the Troubled Person

There’s a probability that your grumpy colleague is behaving badly as a result of job or personal problems. What you took to be a bad attitude could turn out to be a chance for helpful input. Try to pay attention to what this person is saying to see if you can help them shift their perspective about their employment.

4. Be Creative

Don’t just focus on this employee’s flaws; by bringing up good and encouraging dialogues, you’ll be able to steer them in a new direction. In addition, you are immediately setting an example for this person’s attitude in the workplace by providing an all-around good climate for not just this individual but your entire team.

5. Take Rigid Actions if Necessary

As a manager, firing someone is your last resort; yet, it’s crucial to remember that your primary concern should be the well-being of your staff. Allowing someone who brings your entire team down to stay at work sets a bad precedent that could harm your career.


Stress or personal concerns may be the cause of an employee’s bad behavior. Inform them that you’ve noticed a shift in their attitude, and it’s having a destructive impact on the team and organization. 

You want your employees to succeed, so remind them that it can be solved through your employee assistance program if they have a problem. Although each situation will be different, you should be consistent in your approach to employees. Negativity must be suppressed with positivity to improve the overall mental health and productivity of other employees.