Have you ever thought about how negativity damages your business? Today, I want to share with you 4 things that I discovered at work on how negativity can impact businesses:
- Negativity creates a toxic workplace culture
- A negative workplace creates paranoia
- Negative workplaces decrease productivity
- Customers can pick up on a negative workplace culture
Negativity creates a toxic workplace culture
When you’ve got a team of people working together, there’s always going to be stronger and more dominant personalities. There’s going to be people that get on really well. You’re going to often see little clicks and packs that work together.
Now, if you’ve got somebody that tends to be a bit of a bully or can be verging on into that space, by default, the people around them could easily form sides. You can find that situations develop where the people within the team have to take a side on where they believe something sits with them. They have to take a side in terms of their opinion about something. Unknowingly, they may find themselves just falling into that habit.
People get roped into the behavior, the gossip, the opinions, the chatter that they otherwise wouldn’t be involved in. They find themselves having to take sides, quite often they are taking sides without knowing the full story. This is how easy it can be for bullying to evolve within a workplace where it’s not just one person, but collectively it becomes a group of people. They may be all against one person within a team. When that happens, you’re then in a situation where things escalate to a performance management point of view. So if there’s negativity, that’s left to fester and breed amongst a team of people, it can really get out of control, creating a toxic workplace culture.
A negative workplace creates paranoia
When people start to become negative, or they’re picking up on the negativity, they start to get paranoid about their ability, who’s talking about them, what’s going on, or their ability to be able to do the assigned tasks. You know what it’s like when people are constantly negative towards you, about the work you’re doing or what you’re involved in. It’s hard for you to stay motivated and positive with the work that you’re doing and you start to second guess yourself. You develop paranoia resulting in a group of people that may feel paranoid and less confident about what they’re doing.
Negative workplaces decrease productivity
The flow-on effect from the previous point leads to a decrease in productivity in the workplace. When there’s a negative workspace, when there’s negativity within your business, people are less likely to speak up for fear of being judged, criticized, put down, or knocked back. If there’s a negative space where people can’t contribute their ideas, there’s not a way for people to put forward criticisms that are supportive and allow for the evolution of a person and a business. People won’t speak up, they won’t feel comfortable to speak up and if things are wrong or things could be better, they won’t be spoken about. Then negativity is going to grow and productivity is going to decrease.
Customers can pick up on a negative workplace culture
Lastly, the thing that’s going to impact your business with negativity is ultimately your customers and your clients. If you’ve got a negative workplace culture, if there’s a negative vibe within the place that your businesses or your organisation is operating from, clients and customers are going to pick up on it; it’s going to permeate into the customer service. If people are not feeling positive, if people don’t feel confident, if people don’t feel secure, then they’re not going to speak, act and behave with confidence with your customers and your clients. It will have an adverse effect on your customer service and your clients.
These tiny little factors impact your business as a whole. If you let these factors fester, if you don’t address the culture that you’re creating within your business or organization, the long-term effects are detrimental. If I use the analogy of smoking, just one cigarette now, that’s not going to have an impact, but if I’m smoking three or four or five cigarettes every day over an extended period of time, then it’s detrimental to my health. Similarly, negativity is just like a toxin that’s constantly being entered into the culture of the workplace and it has long-term detrimental effects.