Negative Bosses and How They Affect the Workplace

There are few things worse for an employee than walking into work and hitting a wall of negativity that surrounds the workplace. Negative managers can bring unwanted criticism to an employee's job and often make employees feel that there's little they or the company can do that is right. Workplaces generally react poorly to negative managers.

Company Vision

  1. A manager who focuses on the negatives of a person, situation or product isn't likely able to see the potential positives. When a manager dwells on the problems, rather than focusing on a solution, the company's vision becomes distorted. A workplace becomes stagnated when managed by someone who takes on a negative outlook. If a company strives for a workplace that's upbeat and positive, a negative manager will prevent the company from accomplishing that goal.

Employee Relationship

  1. Positive people generally don't want to surround themselves with negativity. Negative managers may inadvertently distance themselves from their employees. When that happens, communication in the workplace typically breaks down, which can lead to upset employees and less than optimal production. One of the primary assets of a manager is his ability to work with his employees. It's impossible for a negative manager to effectively manage every employee, unless the majority of his employees also take a negative outlook. If the workforce becomes negative, even more problems ensue, because employees may begin to worry about their jobs, dislike the company and become cynical about work related issues.

Employee Improvement

  1. The inability to improve employees is an issue that plagues many negative managers. Employee improvement that results from negative management is usually the product of fear, which is ineffective long term. Most people naturally respond to positivity better then they do to negativity. The Mayo Clinic explains that one theory why positivity helps more than negativity is that positive thinking helps people cope with stressful situations, such as those that arise in a workplace. For example, suppose an employee missed his sales goal for the quarter. A negative manager is likely to emphasize the poor sales performance and explain all the ways the employee's performance hurts the company. The criticism will likely conclude without any positive points, such as pointing out the employee performed better than last quarter.

Helping a Negative Manager Improve

  1. A company must convey the importance of positivity to all managers. Explaining that positivity helps employees improve, reduces employee stress and lends itself to a better working environment is the best way to help a manager understand the importance of positivity. A company that's truly concerned about its manager's behavior should also urge employees to contact upper levels of management or human resources if they believe managers are acting inappropriately. Managers who refuse to change their methods of negative management should be disciplined or terminated.