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Rewards a great barrier against workplace negativity

Negativity can be tackled through quick thinking and effective reward programs.

Managing a workplace is a highly complex process involving numerous variables. This is no great surprise, as humans are complicated creatures and no set of policies or rules can make team members instantly believe the exact same things as one another. Forging a group of diverse viewpoints into a team outlook is the very crux of leadership, and employee reward and recognition programs are one element in decision-makers' toolboxes when generating motivation and unity among the staff. There are many different variations on these designs, and it pays to take some time to consider them. Leaders who do so may exert more authority across all personality types.

When it comes to motivation, nothing can puncture a strategy quite as much as a negative attitude.

The fight against negativity
When it comes to motivation, nothing can puncture a strategy quite as much as a negative attitude. Fortunately, Entrepreneur contributor Zeynep Ilgaz recently gave some hints about how to deal with pessimists in any office through effective management and rewards. She explained that if left unchecked, a bad attitude can be transmitted from one employee to another, eventually slowing down the whole corporate apparatus. This is unacceptable, which means it's up to leaders to craft programs that suit everyone, even making room for workers who seem like they would rather be somewhere else.

Identifying and addressing negativity through meetings is important.

Ilgaz explained that the first step to dealing with negativity in the workplace is to find it. Leaders have to know what is happening within their companies at a granular level. The performance of every employee should be logged, examined and quantified. Then, it's time to launch programs that deal with negativity. If there's one employee behind it, this may take the form of a one-on-one meeting that identifies the causes of the current attitude. Beyond that, it's time to launch initiatives that keep the whole workforce motivated and on the same page, enabling them to work together and solve advanced problems.

These motivational efforts may take the form of rewards and recognition. Ilgaz explained that selecting an employee of the month is a positive action, one that will help transform the attitude. In addition to rewards, it pays to ensure the workplace is conducive to happiness. If there are no windows, for example, leaders may be inadvertently contributing to strife between employees. Ilgaz stressed positive reinforcement. This is the carrot, not the stick – when workers behave in a way that furthers business goals, it's good to acknowledge that behavior through compliments and, when the situation demands, the potential for desired rewards.

Different personality types
It's important for leaders to determine exactly what their employees want. A negative attitude may be coming from someone who doesn't see the chance to earn what they want. Investor's Business Daily recently explained that authors and engagement leaders Chester Elton and Adrian Gostick have isolated many different motivation profiles. One of these is reward-driven individuals. People who conform to this type are easy to motivate if leaders know how. Simply keep doling out new and better incentives and they will stay on-task. The authors explained that there is room to negotiate with these professionals and modify their reward packages.

Looking for more information about employee rewards? Check out our white paper.

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