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Five Ways HR Managers Can Minimize Workplace Negativity

Understanding the causes of workplace negativity and taking steps to create a positive work environment can boost employee productivity and motivation.

Employees with negative attitudes can cause more than just an unpleasant work environment; research has shown that negative employees who are focused on pointing out company problems can become mentally fatigued and defensive, which can lower productivity.1 In addition, negativity can often spread and cause damage to employee morale in a generally positive work environment.2

Although direct supervisors and managers play a role in eliminating workplace negativity, HR managers have a major opportunity to create systems and process to make the overall workplace a more positive environment.

Five Ways HR Managers Can Minimize Workplace Negativity

Common Causes of Employee Negativity

A first step is understanding some of the most common reasons for employee negativity, which research has shown includes the following:2

  • Having too much work on their plate
  • Not believing management can lead the company successfully
  • Being bored in their work and not challenged
  • Not being fairly compensated or recognized for a job well done

In addition, when employees don’t believe that company policies are moving the company in a successful direction, they may become negative and anxious about the stability of their jobs and their retirement savings.

Five Ways to Turn Employee Negativity Around

Fortunately, there are proven ways that HR managers can assist in eliminating workplace negativity before it starts or goes too far. Here are five practices to start with that will help employees feel more secure in their position, feel better about the company, and take more pride in their work.3

  • Offer Opportunities for Input. When employees are given the opportunity to provide input on their jobs and suggest improvements on company policies, they feel much more positive about their employment.1
  • Treat Employees With Respect. When employees feel they are trusted from the start to do a good job, they are much more likely to eagerly follow company policies and procedures.
  • Communicate Reasons for Changes. Quickly and openly communicating changes in policies and procedures and sharing the background for why changes are taking place can help employees feel included and greatly reduce the negativity sometimes associated with change.
  • Allow Employees Options for Development. Promoting from within, offering opportunities for lateral moves within the organization, and cross-training are all great ways to show the company’s commitment to employee growth and help ensure employees are satisfied with their development and job security.
  • Reward and Acknowledge Good Work. Employees value being rewarded or recognized for their specific contributions to the success of the company. Rewards and recognition do not necessarily have to be monetary, but they should be valued by the employee to make the most impact.4

How an MS in Human Resources Can Help

If you are looking for ways to influence your organization to move in a more positive direction, earning a master’s in human resource management can help you strengthen your HR skills and advance your human resource career.

Walden’s online MS in Human Resource Management degree program can help you gain the strategic, organizational, management, and analytical skills you need to become a functional specialist or a strategic HR leader and support small and large organizations in creating positive, productive work environments.

If you’re concerned that you don’t have time to earn a MS in Human Resource Management, online education can be a good option. Unlike earning a human resource degree through a traditional program, pursuing a human resource degree online can allow you to complete the majority of your human resource training from home. The online format of Walden’s MS in Human Resource Management program gives you the flexibility to study and complete coursework when it fits your schedule, allowing you to continue to work in your HR position while completing your MS degree online.

The need for qualified, business-minded HR managers to help organizations navigate today’s complex and fast-paced workplaces will only continue to grow. Completing Walden University’s online MS in Human Resource Management program can not only help you improve your career and human resource salary prospects, but also give you the HR degree you need to make a strategic contribution to creating a positive workplace for all employees.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering an online MS in Human Resource Management. Expand your career options and earn your degree using a convenient, flexible online learning platform that fits your busy life.


Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,