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How Workplace Negativity Hurts Your Bottom Line

When you’re operating a business or responsible for its HR, regardless of size or sector, there are a number of key performance metrics that you pay close attention to in order to gauge whether or not you’re meeting your goal targets—and whether or not you need to retool your strategic plans or stay the course. While most of the metrics business leaders focus on typically involve number crunching, there may be other, more intangible data you should be tracking when thinking about your bottom line. Key among them is workplace mood, which includes the overall attitudes, enthusiasm, and mindsets of your staff as a whole, as well as of individual employees. Do you consider this is a minor factor when you’re analyzing the health, potential, and direction of your company? Think again.

A positive mindset can lift all boats in your organization and lead to all employees doing their absolute best—and striving to reach new heights of success—as they dedicate their time, energy, and resources to the collective good of the company. This will inevitably impact your bottom line. Conversely, not only can workplace negativity weigh heavily on your company’s financial health, it can also affect productivity in both the short- and long terms—and can mean the difference between a work environment that’s conducive for employee engagement and success and one that’s toxic for both employers and employees and a real drain on morale and resources.

Need more convincing? Let’s take a look at some clear ways how negativity in your workplace can hit your bottom line in ways that you surely don’t want it to.

Negativity leads to loss of productivity

The bottom line for you and your company is that unhappy and negative employees will almost invariably show decreases in productivity, efficiency, and precision across all assigned tasks, and will be less likely to willingly take on new challenges and responsibilities as the needs and direction of your organization evolve and change over time. According to a recent article, “Negativity can be a major issue in the workplace and, if left unchecked, result in fiscal consequences. The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that negativity costs businesses $3 billion a year due to its harmful effects. Keeping up morale within an organization is critical for maintaining productivity and employee satisfaction.” When it comes to workplace negativity, the data is clear—if you fail to foster an environment that promotes employee satisfaction, the net result will be an unwelcome hit to your bottom line.

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Negativity stunts innovation

Another unfortunate consequence of workplace negativity is that it strangles the impulse to think innovatively and implement creative approaches to confronting challenges and leading your business in bold new directions. It’s never the case that industry leaders who move the needle in positive new ways and stand out from the competition have negative work environments. In fact, today’s progressive companies who exist at the vanguard of innovation go to great lengths to ensure that their employees and teams are satisfied and given exactly what they need to be successful—and their success translates to a healthy company bottom line and positive outlook for the future.

Negativity is contagious

This is one of the unfortunate truths in business or in any group of people anywhere—the mindset of a few can affect the many. Like a “mood virus,” just a few negative employees in your organization can adversely impact your entire workplace, and the more negativity spreads the more damage it can cause and the harder it will be to eradicate. It’s a vicious cycle, and one that needs to be taken seriously if the overall health and future of your company is a concern.

Hopefully it’s now clear that workplace negativity can really impact your company’s bottom line. That said, do you know if your workplace is a negative one? Consider this your wakeup call, and devote some time, energy, and resources to analyze the issue in your organization and take steps to ensure that workplace negativity does not hurt your employees or business.

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Eric Titner

Eric is a NYC-based editor and writer, with years of experience in career-focused content development across a wide range of industries.

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