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Negativity at Work

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What causes negativity at work? It's a serious problem that companies, managers, and staff need to watch. Negativity reduces performance. Negativity causes more people to quit, so more time and money are wasted always training new employees. And because usually the best employees quit and find another job, it makes successful companies less competitive. In a negative workplace, only the worst employees stay for a long time. In fact, the negativity might be caused by the worst employees!

Here are some reasons that create a negative environment at work.

  • There is too much work. This complaint is very common when some employees quit or are fired, but new people aren't hired. There is more work for everyone but without any raises.
  • Management isn't competent, effective, or qualified. Their decisions and policies cause problems in the office. In fact, some managers blame employees for the problems! Of course, these are the very worst managers who cause a lot of grumbling.
  • Employees are worried about the future. For example, the economy is bad, some employees might lose their job, or the company might close.
  • Employees are bored at work.
  • Employees don't get praise or recognition for their hard work.
  • The pay is low or it doesn't equal the amount of work required for the job.

A lot of these reasons come from inside the company. The managers and their decisions cause employees to dislike work. But sometimes outside problems cause negativity. For example, if sales are down, then workers might not get a raise or a promotion. If the economy is very bad, then some people might lose their job.

Companies need to understand the reasons for negativity at work. Almost everyone wants a positive, enjoyable work environment. After all, people spend so much of the day at work. For example, let's say that you work eight to ten hours every day, or between forty and fifty hours every week. If you sleep six hours each night, then about 50% of the day is at work. That's a lot of time! Or from a manager's viewpoint, workers who like their jobs work harder and get the job done more accurately and more quickly. In addition, fewer people quit so employees become more valuable. As they learn more about the company and the business, they gain more skills and experience.

So is your office negative? Do you have any ideas to make it a more positive place?


Step 1: You will listen to an article about negativity at work. The article is about 4.5 minutes long. Listen only, and don't worry about understanding everything.
Step 2: Read and understand the questions, then listen again. As you are listening, try to answer the questions in your head. Don't write the answers yet. Next, listen again and write the answers this time. Check your answers with a partner.
Step 3: Read the article. Check in your dictionary any unknown words. Now listen again. Can you understand more?
Step 4: Listen! Listen! Listen! Listen to the article on the train or in your free time. Each time you listen, you will slowly improve!

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