Hr Consultant
Jo Verde
Senior Director Jemm Consultants
Hr Generalist

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We are a small company around 75 people.

I've recently come to know from a new hire that the employees here always talking negative about the company,policies etc...
This is having a negative impact on the new hires and also the current employees.
Please let me know how this can be handled.
Thanks in advance.

From Singapore
It is highly impossible to put an end to any lose office gossips but when it has come to your notice, you may have to take it up seriously with the aggreived employee.
You may have to check with him on his concerns, problem and takle the same which would definitely ease in eradicating such negative aspects about the company or its policies.
Hope this helps!

From India, Ujjain
Hi Sushma:

This is a problem faced by most of the same and medium size companies.

You will have to call out your Sr.member team and first talk to them about the this and make them responsible for the motivation of their respective teams members.

Identify core team members and try to talk to them about this and get some suggestions and ideas.

After you have done this, you will be able to identity there would be only less than 5 people who would be creating problems. First talk to them to Understand what their concerns are and try to solve them rather then taking action against them. If you still feel they cannot be changed and are not getting ahead with the corporate culture, then you could send them off.

Try to make sure you have a daily contact with the best performance players and the new entries.

Implement lots of management / motivation excersise.

Welcome all the grievances and give your special time too. Make sure that anyone could reach you anytime will their problems and try to address them asap.

As you happen to work for a smaller team, you could make a huge difference.

All the best



From India, Madras
Hi There,
You might want to consider implementing a code of business conduct where standards of behavior are identified to all employees. This in turn becomes part of the appraisal process.This ensures that every employee has this issue brought to their attention in a formal way at least once annually. I have also had the opportunity to address these kinds of issues in personal effectiveness training and team building opportunities within organizations where gossip and back stabbing has adversely affected both productivity and morale.
Human nature, being what it is, sometimes needs a gentle reminder of the cause and effect nature of negativity in the workplace.
Good luck!
Jo Verde
JeMM Consultants

From Canada, Ottawa

First, I think that you should look into the “negative comments” made by current employees. They may have legitimate grievances - harassment, safety and health concerns, general working environment, etc. Obviously, you can’t address and rectify all concerns/ issues, just the ones that are legitimate, non-productive, and in the best interests of the company to control.

I think a meeting (no more than one hour) with small groups of employees - 10 - 15 per session would seems appropriate.

Start the meeting with a brief statement of why it was called -

“It has come to management’s attention that employees have concerns about the working conditions or other matters affecting production, safety, and or morale of the organization. We want to address the

legitimate concerns so that we may function in an atmosphere of mutual harmony and serenity. You may openly state your concerns now and I will try to respond as best as I can. If I don’t have an answer, I’ll get one and get back to you.”

“Or, if you prefer, write down your issues, you don’t have to sign your name, and send it to me. I will publish the issues and responses [weekly, bi-weekly, monthly]. All names will be withheld.”

“In addition, you can input some suggestions as how management may address productivity, and safety within the organization. If you idea is implemented you will be given recognition and a prize at a monthly presentation meeting..”

“The only constraint is that the inquiry/suggestion be related to production, safety, or morale. Any issue such as pay or benefits, personal harassment, violation of rules, threats, or the like is not a valid issue for the “morale box”. These issues should be taken up with your immediate supervisor, or HR.”

“In the next few months we will be developing an Employee Attitude Survey, which will be mailed to your homes with a return envelope. The completed surveys will be processed and the results given to Senior Management for consideration.”

“Are there any questions? Does anyone want to volunteer an issue or concern?"

(After all questions/concerns have been addressed, or time runs out close the meeting by saying “That’s all we’ve got time for now, but remember that there is an avenue for you to relay your concerns.”)

On the other hand, there are those “5% - 10%‘s” in every organization who are not happy unless they are venting about something or other, usually some minor point. Unless the negative comments cross the line between general grumbling and insubordination, severe discipline is not warranted.

Determine the substance and extent of the comments, as well as the person(s) responsible and hold counseling sessions. Merely counseling the employee(s) as to the negative impact his/her comments are having on the co-workers and the organization, as well as the negative consequences which could befall him/her should resolve the problem.

Bill Kuzmin

PALADIN Human Resource Consulting

From United States,
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