Managing a Moaning Minnie in The Workplace

Submitted by Dawn on 06th September 2016

Dealing With Negativity In The Workplace

If you’re the skeptical type, it wouldn’t be too difficult to find a plethora of reasons to feel negative at the moment. The future of the country is up in the air, and the papers are full of tales of unrest and uncertainty. 

Negativity can spread like wildfire in the workplace, so what should you do if you have one employee who’s bringing down the rest of your workforce? Here, we share a few practical hints and ideas for you to consider. 


Sometimes, people simply need a sounding board for their frustrations and concerns. Burying your head in the sand and hoping for the best is very rarely a sensible strategy. Adopt an open door policy and make sure that you live by it. 

Get to know your staff, work out what makes them tick and unearth the real issues that are at play.  You can’t fix everything just by listening, but at least your employees will know that you care.  

Challenge negative thinking 

There are external things going on that you and your business can have no control over. No one’s expecting you to solve all the problems in the world. If comments are being made about internal issues though, you need to tackle them. 

If they’re true, take the time to explain the reasoning behind why things are the way they are, and how employees can play a part in improving the situation. If false statements are being shared, speak up immediately and put the record straight. Sometimes, a little strong leadership is what’s needed to get things back on the right track. 

Encourage Dialogue

Recognise the difference between a bit of negativity and serious mental health problems 

Most of us are guilty of letting negative feelings take over now and again. Some might say that it’s all part and parcel of living in the modern world. As a leader though, you have a responsibility to recognise the difference an employee having a whinge and someone who may be suffering from a mental health issues. 

If you suspect that there are more serious problems at play, you have a responsibility to ensure that your staff are supported and given the professional assistance that they might need. In this situation, your first port of call should be to speak with an expert. Remember that discretion is key, and you absolutely must honour the confidentiality of your employees. 

The feeling and mood in many workplaces goes through peaks and troughs. It’s the job of the management team to make sure that staff are motivated and productive. 

If you’re experiencing problems with negativity in the workplace, it may be worthwhile to have a chat with us about your challenges.  Get in touch today to benefit from our expert HR advice, by calling 01604 763494 or by using the form to the right of the page.