Do you have that one employee that is always negative? No matter what you do, they always find a reason to complain. And when they complain they make sure that everyone around knows they are unhappy. Does this one person have any effect on the rest of your employees? Absolutely!
Bitter and unhappy employees love to spread their negativity. Sometimes they feel that it will get others to join their battle, and other times its because they don’t know what else to do about their built-up frustrations. This one employee is not the problem for your company. The problem is how their words and actions leave everyone else feeling. Their constant negativity eventually starts to impact how those around them feel. Usually this results in the rest of the employees being separated into two groups.
- Employees that put up with the current environment, even though they dislike it, now jump on the revolution bandwagon. They feel like they have strength in their numbers and will start to complain and demand change from management. This is where management needs to push back and make it clear that they are not changing their expectations to soothe this group of people. The good news is, this tends to be a small group of people that will usually go back to doing their work once you remove the ringleader, aka, the bad apple.
- Employees that have been content with the work environment, who now become annoyed and agitated by the bad apple. They won’t want to add more conflict, so they won’t say anything to the other person. Instead they will quietly continue doing their work, while each day that goes by becomes less and less enjoyable. These once good, motivated employees will start to dread coming into work and it is only a matter of time until they realize how unhappy they are and start looking for better working conditions…with a new employer!
To protect your good workers, and prevent others from joining the angry band wagon, you need to remove the bad apple. As soon as you identify that an employee is always complaining take the time to dig into the issue. Have a few meetings with that person to see if you can help them get over their issues. Don’t spend too much time in this stage though. After you have a few meetings if the person is not improving it means they are spoiled and need to be removed. Once a bitter employee starts to affect those around them, it will take a lot of time to re-establish the peace, cohesiveness and teamwork of the group. The sooner you take the bad apple out of the basket, the better off you will be.