A long awaited important project brought in a lot of excitement, apprehensions, deadlines and long hours for everyone who was involved. Prithvi was getting onto his first major assignment and was eager to prove his mettle and earn a place in the organisation. Whereas Gautam, a senior by few years who was resentful for not having referred for any promotions, was using every opportunity to bring down the enthusiasm of Prithvi. He was continuously rebuking their team manager and misleading Prithvi of the credit he will never receive for all the hard work. Prithvi all through the execution of the project was harassed, demoralized and de-motivated by Gautam with his constant allegations about all the team members and complaining about the work load. Prithvi was dreading to come to work and was heading towards an emotional breakdown.

A mere presence of a certain group of people is capable of bringing in a state of tension, irritability and lowering the morale of people who they surround. Certain personalities successfully spread the sense of discomfort, pessimism and unease at the work place by indulging in gossip, lying, displaying a hostile attitude and reacting to situations unfavorably.

Negativity in the workplace induces toxicity, which gradually disengages the employees and in turn brings down the overall performance and productivity. A negative peer who is constantly pessimistic of the situation can bring down even the most positive of co-workers. The negative attitude of these few people infiltrate the workplace making the other employees think about how much they hate their jobs rather than enjoy it.

Employers will need to be on their guard and get a foothold of the work environment since negative thinking spreads around the organisation like wild fire. It slowly saps the energy of the organization and diverts the critical attention of the employees from work and performance.

The challenge for the employers/managers is to take this head on by being in constant touch with the employees, open to bring in the required changes and lead by example.


Few points to ponder to create a work culture you have envisioned for your team:

  • Initiate a brainstorming session with the employees and be open to feedback to help trace down the root cause of the discontent and bitterness.
  • An employee engagement program will enable everyone to share their ideas and feelings anonymously and in turn will help the managers to check the pulse of his team’s collective attitude. Changes can be made to improve the morale based on the data derived from these programs.
  • Identify a right setting and communicate by asking questions and supporting facts with the concerned employee. Have a positive approach towards the issues without getting emotionally charged and accusatory.
  • Extinguish negative attitudes the moment you notice them. Be proactive, nip them in the bud and intervene immediately.
  • Conduct workshops /seminars promoting overall happiness and promoting a work culture which is conducive, that fosters trust and collaboration among all employees.

Feeling appreciated and encouraged to express their thoughts will make everyone feel heard and help them be happy.  Organisations which are keen to work towards a positive ambiance will consider taking these small steps towards improving the overall emotional well being of their employees.

AUTHOR: Smitha, Lead Counsellor


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