A few months ago, I was going through a rough patch in my personal life. Frustrated and overwhelmed, my attitude at work began to deteriorate. The usually outgoing, cheerful person slumped into a withdrawn, sullen presence. I may not have outright told everyone I was having a bad time, but it was apparent to each coworker I encountered by my demeanor alone. Suddenly, every time I walked into the room people seemed to smile a little less. Office neighbors stopped coming by my office to say hello or chat about the weekend. Our once upbeat staff meetings were now dull and purely factual, and attending became a burden that most dreaded.

My bad attitude had not only hurt my own well-being, it had spread to my coworkers and our entire workplace. A poor work environment can lead to a host of issues for business owners and employees, alike. When there is a culture of pessimism, it makes a less functional and productive work environment.

The Dangers of Negativity in the Workplace

When negative attitudes are pervasive throughout your workplace, it can lead to issues for both your company and its employees. True, few workers can say that they absolutely love their job every single day, but too much negativity can have a detrimental impact.

An undesirable work culture can lead to:

High employee absenteeism;

General employee dissatisfaction;

Low morale;

Unclear assignments and responsibilities;

Ineffective communication;

Office gossip and rumors;

Lack of productivity;

Lack of enthusiasm;

Decreased client retention;

High turnover rates; and

Decreased revenues.

Additionally, when employees are unhappy at work, they are more likely to bring that negative attitude home, thus impacting their families, as well. To combat this issue, employers must bring positivity to the work environment on a daily basis.

How to Encourage Positivity in the Workplace

The obvious way to combat negativity is to create a culture of positivity in the workplace. While the solution may be clear, it may not be as easy to achieve. To remedy poor morale, try the following techniques:

Find the source: Is the negativity flowing from the top down? Is upper management inaccessible and unapproachable? Is your office stark and bare? Are there opportunities for growth? Once you ask yourself these questions, you can find the source of the problem and begin to construct solutions.

Lead by example: As a business owner, it is necessary for you to lead by example. When you come to work with a positive attitude, it may just rub off on others.

Be flexible: Employees who feel as though they have some control over their work are more likely to be satisfied in their jobs. Try to be flexible with leave time and telecommuting, and give employees the opportunity to voice their opinions as much as possible.

Know your product: Even if you don’t have much interaction with your product or service directly, it’s important to have a strong understanding of it. If you can’t find a way to relate to your product and be passionate about it, neither will your employees. Nothing kills work morale like promoting something you have zero passion for, so get your employees excited about what they’re doing.

Incite some fun: There is no better way to boost morale than to have some fun at work. Whether this means an office pizza party, a friendly competition amongst co-workers, or allowing employees to decorate their offices, it is a cheap and easy way to add positivity.

About Per Wickstrom:

Per Wickstrom is a successful entrepreneur and CEO of Best Drug Rehabilitation. After spending years battling a substance abuse problem, he finally managed to kick his addictions and started BDR to help others do the same. See what Per’s been up to by checking out his blog or connecting with him on Facebook.