Identifying Destructive Workplace Habits in Your Office

Office places are filled with various personalities, learning styles, and personal agendas. Conflict can creep in, disagreements can take place, and negativity can abound. The office place is an interesting dynamic, it’s one that can promote collaboration, friendships, and innovation. At the same time, an office can have the opposite energy as well – separation, entitlement, and resentment. The key to creating an office environment that is aligned with the former, is to identify and stop any destructive habits in the office as soon as they start.

It starts when one employee becomes unhappy. This could be for any reason. They could have been passed over for a promotion, were unhappy with their annual review or their raise, or they simply don’t enjoy the job they are doing. The problem is that when a person becomes unhappy in the workplace, their negativity can easily go viral. A negative energy can quickly consume other people’s positivity. It starts by taking down one person, then another, and another. Before you know it, half of your team or staff has now embraced the negative mindset of this one person. The question is this, how do you identify that person so you can put a stop to it, before they take over?

Here are a few of the signs of a destructive team member.

If you notice someone…

  • Putting down every idea that is brought up in meetings and never adds value or offers another way of thinking.
  • Is anti-social and isn’t well-liked among a friendly staff.
  • Who promises everything you want to hear, but rarely, if ever, delivers.
  • Who thinks very highly of their position and their work, yet doesn’t produce results.
  • That is constantly micro-managing others.
  • Who is constantly blaming others for their behavior.
  • That is passive-aggressive.

Your team has likely been affected when you notice someone…

  • Is now being negative who was a happy, productive employee before.
  • Not participating in meetings as usual.
  • Is feeling entitled, short-changed, and disappointed by what the company has/has not done for them.

Destructive workplace habits are critical to your team’s success. Stopping these destructive behaviors as soon as they are noticed is the best way to keep your team happy. Once you notice the energy shifting, come from a place of curiosity and approach your unhappy team member to get to the root of the issue. They’ll likely tell you what you want to hear at first, so dig deeper and go down a few levels to get to the truth of what’s happening.

Once you identify the core issue, make a decision that’s best for the company. In the long run you’ll be happy that you did, even if it’s uncomfortable at the time.