One bad apple can destroy all of your employee retention strategies. You can revitalize a bad apple though.
The saying goes, “one bad apple spoils a bunch,” that is literally the truth. One bad apple in a basket of apples... and your whole bundle may be bound for the worst. You office is the same way. If you have one bad apple (a bad attitude) in your office, your entire team’s spirit may be headed downhill. However, if you catch that apple soon enough, you can turn this sad situation around.
Even a bad apple can be made into delicious apple cider.
So how do you save your office? It can be tempting to pull someone into your office and tell them that their “attitude” is not benefiting the team. Though this statement may be true, often direct confrontation does not correct the problem. Instead incorporate some best practices in your employee retention strategies. According to Jennifer Read Hawthorne, we have up to 60,000 thoughts per day — 80% of them negative. Your management team needs to be equipped to deal with those negative thoughts.
Negative thoughts occurs in many different forms. And, knowing how to deal with those thoughts can be overwhelming. Have you ever tried to make someone happy who seemed upset? it is hard. Turning someone's attitude around may be something that you face once a week or even once a day. Either way, creating change is a team effort. We encourage you to have quarterly manager meetings to ensure that all your managers are ready to face any negativity that may occur. If you have your management staff on board, your office is headed in the right direction!
Avoiding negative thoughts is an ongoing process. It is up to your managers to create an environment that is filled with positive and constructive thoughts. People are going to have bad days, but how your team addresses these bad days need to be the same. You can start by creating a positive environment for your team. One way to create a positive environment is with bright wall decor. Especially if you are in a cubical type setting, try adding inspirational wall decor for your team members to look at throughout their day. You may even want to try a fresh coat of paint! According to Health.com, green and yellow cause people to feel happier.
Music is another way that you can start encouraging positive thinking A 2013 study shared that listening to music throughout your day can enhance? your mood. Your music selection should be something that almost everyone is sure to love. Include songs with a positive message. You can even try pre-made setlist on many popular streaming stations like Spotify or Pandora.
Be the Example
This is probably one of the most important ways to turn a negative attitude around. You need to be the example for your employee retention strategies. Be the positive energy you expect from your team. If you are being negative your team will see this and as a result — be negative. It’s far easier to switch a positive attitude to a negative, so don’t be negative! Be the positive example that your team needs. If a conversation turns to complaints, don’t join in — but don’t stay quiet. Make suggestions that spark a conversation on how to fix the situation (or problem) they are complaining about.
The thing that causes negative chatter in your office — more often than not — is policy. Your team may be upset about a new policy change, or even an old one. You have your reasons for the policy, but your team may not have a way to discuss it. Give your team a better outlet — than each other — to discuss it. Create an opportunity for your team to discuss policy (or anything for that matter) that truly upsets them.
There needs to be a funnel that is safe. Some employees may never say a word to a manager in fear that it will jeopardize their next evaluation, raise, or even their job. It is important to create an environment where your team feels they can communicate everything, negative or positive.
Just as it is important to allow your employees the chance to give you feedback, it is equally important to provide positive feedback to your employees. Instead of addressing everything one of your employees does wrong, give them positive feedback. Show them how they can improve. You can do this by providing reading material, ongoing training, or give them a mentor. Each team member will feel valued and are more likely to succeed.
So the next time you have a bad apple in your employee retention strategies try these few steps to help your entire office succeed:
- Create a positive environment
- Set a good example
- Encourage open information flow
- Provide constructive feedback
Your office should be a second home for your employees, not a daunting part of their day. Even a bad apple can be made into delicious cider!