Adverse Effects of a Bad Attitude in the Workplace

Bad attitudes destroy morale.
Bad Attitudes



Bad attitudes in the workplace might include laziness, tardiness, rudeness, rumor mongering or any other attitude or activity that lowers overall morale. Negative attitudes could be due to personal problems. For example, an employee might be having trouble at home that influences her behavior at work. Bad attitudes also can result from workplace events, such as a firing, pay decreases or other small-business problems.


Decreased Performance

Negative Attitude

Google Image

Bad attitudes spread, which is why you must address the issue quickly. A single person’s bad attitude can have a huge effect on the operation of your business. For example, if one employee begins complaining, his discontent might spread to other workers. Bad attitudes also can trickle downward. A cranky manager can ruin the workplace atmosphere for everyone he supervises. Pervasively negative attitudes can have a detrimental effect on performance, causing employees to become apathetic and despondent. Mistakes might occur more often, and output will likely slow.

Unhappy Customers

If your customers encounter bad attitudes from your employees, they won’t come back. Customers don’t want to deal with snippy or rude representatives, and employee apathy leads to blown project deadlines and incomplete fulfillment of orders. Monitoring the performance of employees who deal directly with customers might head off some trouble, but a more effective approach is to deal with the underlying causes of the discontent to raise the morale of the entire workplace.


Sometimes, one person is the clear cause of an organization’s problem. Other times, you must identify underlying causes for general discontent. For example, if you enforce unreasonable deadlines for projects, meaning employees must work overtime to meet your expectations, you can expect resentment to build. Though you should expect the best from your employees, pushing them too hard will test their loyalty and might be bad for morale and employee retention. Other possible causes of bad attitudes include employee perceptions concerning the financial health of your business, insufficient support from management or a feeling that hard work goes unappreciated.


Ask for regular employee feedback so you can stay ahead of the curve. Act quickly and decisively to nip negative attitudes in the bud. For example, if an employee consistently voices unreasonable complaints, take that person aside for a private discussion. Try to come to an equitable resolution but warn the employee you won’t tolerate negative influences in your business. Dealing with systemic problems is more difficult but well worth it in the long run if it improves employee morale. High morale has been shown to lead to better performance and happier customers. For example, invite employee feedback concerning workloads when determining project deadlines.

This article is taken from and written by Stan Mack, Demand Media