Bad attitudes in the workplace are a pain. As a manager, you may find your self complaining about them to others and wish they’d just go away but how much of it is down to you? Attitudes of staff members may deteriorate due to a number of reasons so to avoid them in the first place or help turn them round, have a look at the following.

Be Fair

Look at how you work with your staff. Are they paid fairly? Do you treat them well and avoid showing favouritism? Staff quickly develop resentment when fairness is not apparent in the workplace.


Do you listen to your staff? Most people want to feel like they are contributing. Ask them for their opinions. At times, show that you are acting on their suggestions and they will feel more integrated and important.


Let your staff know what is happening. Don’t keep them in the dark. Tell them what’s going on in the business, share the plans, the feedback from customers and upper management.


Let them know that you appreciate them. Small courtesies like ‘Thank you’ are often overlooked but can go a long way to build trust and improve morale. A little extra effort of showing appreciation on your part can help turn round or avoid the negative attitude of your staff.

Steps to turn around bad attitudes

What you can do to help turn round existing bad attitudes is to follow these steps:

1. Note instances where their attitude has had a negative impact on the work. Their attitude may have caused people to avoid them which may have delayed a process. This could have caused a customer to miss out on a communication all because one of the team has not felt they were able to approach the person with the bad attitude. Record these instances so you can establish some facts.

2. Meet with the person that has the attitude and present your findings to them. Ask them to share their perspective. Just talking about it may help to dispel some of the issue. Stick to the facts so it is more difficult for them to argue.

3. Agree on what should happen as a result. Ask them to suggest what they can do to alter the situation. Get them to commit and follow up.

What you want to be able to do is reduce the reasons for someone to have a bad attitude, then if it happens, don’t hope it goes away – act quickly because if you don’t do something about it, you may lose the members of staff that you want to keep!


Check out for more ideas on dealing with difficult staff members.