written by
Dr. Damodar Rai

How HR Should Manage Negative Emotions at Workplace

Employee Engagement Emotional Culture Leadership 2 min read

Human Resource Management professionals must be sensitive and always alert to the negative emotions at workplace. The negative emotions at workplace if not addressed in time quickly, may multiply and spread like a wild virus and play havoc on the organisations, employees and their teams.In view of this, Human Resource Department must have plans to identify ,analyse and address the negative emotions promptly.

Researchers have categorised negative emotions in the workplace in different ways. However, the different states through which employees may pass in the organisation are frustrated, stressed, anxious, annoyed, bored, disinterested, dissatisfied, gloomy, miserable, sad, tired, uncomfortable, unhappy, upset and angry.

It is not possible in one blog post to share the methodology to be adopted for addressing all the above mentioned negative emotions. However, we will discuss a few of the above here. This, in turn, may help HR professionals to evolve their own strategies for tackling negative emotions at the workplace.

1. Anxiety

Anxiety may emanate from any of the following situations. The ways are also suggested to eliminate the anxieties.

Negative emotions at workplace- anxiety
AnPhotographer: JESHOOTS.COM | Source: Unsplash
  • An employee may be asked to do a job, but they don't know the step by step methodology to execute it. Certain organisations do not undertake prior job training. It is assumed that the employee knows everything. Proper coaching and prior-execution may be helpful in such cases.
  • Hiding the real truth from the employees, about the financial condition of the company, may make them anxious. Keep them always in the loop with the timely interactions, communications and transparency.
  • The employee may also feel anxious due to envying the accomplishments and rewards given to fellow co-workers. The key in dealing with such situations is to analyse it and make sure that the mechanism for such rewards is fair and transparent.

2. Frustration

Negative emotions at workplace- frustration
Photographer: Sebastian Herrmann | Source: Unsplash

Certain situations that lead to frustration and how to exit these are given below:

  • Feeling that the career path of an employee is almost blocked and there is no future growth, may lead to frustration. A proper succession planning and or orientation training to switch to more satisfying jobs may solve the problem.
  • No sharing of information by the colleagues, may be the other reason. Building of coherent teams, fostering of openness and cordiality among the employees, may be the remedy to this.

3. Stress

Negative emotions at workplace- Stress

Certain situations leading to stress and how to exit out of these are given below:

  • Too much work is given to one employee may make them stressed. Equitable job distribution may be the solution to this problem. If some employees are much more skilled than the others and there is no option left except giving them more work, keep them in good humour and give awards, incentives, etc.
  • A feeling of undue interference and lack of support in the project work of employees may make them stressed.

The remedy may be an impartial behaviour of the manager as well as strong communication between the manager and the employee.

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