Esther (not her real name though), a tall, well- figured, hardworking, smart and intelligent lady who demonstrated the poise to deliver in sales and achieve targets especially at the branch she was posted to. Although she has this commendable aspect of her, but she is also a staff who has intense negative and arrogant behaviour not worthy of emulation. Recently, she was said to have blatantly rebuffed her boss without remorse, giving attitudes and speaking so impolitely to her superior.

I recall a colleague reporting her antecedence of how she intimidates, shout and rudely address her superiors and colleagues making them dread to have anything to do with her. Whenever she does anything wrong, it will just be overlooked by her superiors because they don’t want issues.

Without mincing words, am quite sure that some of us have had a breed or breeds of the above-mentioned type of employee, or are currently have this kind of employee or employees in our working place.

It is imperative to note that a negative attitude can be infectious which will be counter-productive at the work place, that’s why it must be taken seriously and be nipped in the bud.


So how can you manage this kind of employee?

The following are the ways to manage an employee with a negative attitude.

  1. Be calm: To understand an employee with a negative and difficult attitude, you need to be calm enough to study the circumstances surrounding the employee’s attitude and also the root cause of the negative attitude which the employee is exhibiting. Watch the trend. Never be hasty to judge or conclude or perhaps engage in hasty generalization.


  1. Verify and make correct findings from other co-workers to know if it he/her attitude is limited to a certain employee. You can find time to investigate from co-workers by interviewing them on what they think the problem of the colleagues is. Perhaps they might have an idea of what is really responsible for the negative attitude.


  1. Counselling. Never rule out the place of sincere counselling to understand the major challenges influencing the employees’ negative attitudes. Counselling has been a veritable tool in the work place to help the employees come out of their challenges.

It is said that a problem shared, is half solved. Hence, counselling has a way of bringing the employee out of his/her shell of challenges and repositioning them to look at life from another perspective. Counselling of employees in the workplace is laden with benefits which includes:

  • Reducing Turnover and cost of recruitment
  • Helping the employee tackle problems holistically
  • Helping employees see life from another perspective
  • Improving productivity and commitment helping them achieve organizational goals.
  1. Recommend for training. Training has a positive way of affecting ones reasoning. This employee with a negative attitude can be sent for trainings that can help her work on her attitude. Trainings or workshops on Emotional Intelligence or any other that will directly have positive impact on attitude at workplace.


  1. Follow through the company’s processes. Every company has outlined ways of handling issues and complaints especially attitudes like that. Check through and follow the process properly to checkmate and nip that attitude in the bud.


  1. Know when to say Goodbye. An employee whose attitude is negative, seriously affecting other colleagues and the overall productivity and seem impossible should be shown the way out in order to keep the work environment healthy.