Merge's Blog

An approach to deal with negative employees

spongeYour best employees are enthusiastic, keen and eager to learn. Think of them as sponges, thirsty for knowledge, just waiting to soak up new experiences and fresh ideas. Contrast them with the other kind of employee – you know, the negative employees that are disenchanted, weary, and jaded by past encounters. They are sponges too. But these sponges are saturated and sodden, flooded with negativity borne from past situations. And because the sponges are already full, there is no room for anything else!

Until you squeeze water out of a drenched sponge, it cannot absorb any more. Which is something worth keeping in mind if you’re struggling with motivating an uninspired or disillusioned employee. You cannot just create a positive and stimulating environment and hope that such people will absorb the excitement and energy. If they’re already full of dissatisfaction and bitterness, then there will not be room for anything else, no matter how much effort you put into it. So think first about what you can do to “squeeze” out the negativity. Take the time to get to know these staff members at more than a superficial level. Find out about past situations that might have created their current mental state. Probe to discover the source of their “baggage”. Try and get at the root cause of the liquid deadweight. Only once you have squeezed out some of the liquid will they be able to absorb any more.

Well, what are your ideas or tips on things that leaders can do to “squeeze” out the old? Please share them by adding to the Comments link below.

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