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A Skilled Employee Only Gets You So Far – Attitude Matters

June 9, 2023
You can't change a bad attitude

You can close a knowledge or skills gap, but you can’t change someone’s attitude

Attitude Matters More Than Skills

Knowledge and skills can be taught and learned. However, attitude is something that is much more difficult to change – attitude matters! An employee’s attitude can have a significant impact on their productivity, morale, and overall performance. 

A positive attitude can help an employee to be more engaged, productive, and creative. It can also help them to build better relationships with their colleagues and customers. 

The Cost of a Negative Attitude

On the other hand, a negative attitude leads to decreased productivity, increased stress, and conflict with others. 

If you have an employee with a negative attitude, it is important to try to understand the root cause of the problem. In order to figure out the course of action – not just “treating the symptom” 

In some cases, the solution may be as simple as providing the employee with more training or support during a difficult time in their life. In other cases, it may be necessary to have a more difficult conversation with the employee about their attitude. Ultimately, if it doesn’t change, you need to separate from that individual before their poor attitude affects the rest of their colleagues (and your business). 

Whatever the solution, it is important to remember that you can’t change someone’s attitude overnight. It takes time, patience, and effort. And – it may not be possible at all. You are not responsible for their attitude as an adult. You can provide support and insight, but you can’t change it for them. They have to do that work (if they so choose). 

How to Help an Employee with a Negative Attitude

Here are some tips for dealing with employees with negative attitudes: 

  • Talk to the employee sooner than later about their attitude. 
  • Try to understand the root cause of the problem – is there some training, support, or other simple solution? 
  • Set clear expectations for what is and is not acceptable and be consistent in how you enforce those. 
  • Provide positive reinforcement. 
  • Be patient and persistent. But be ready to let the person go if they do not turn around. 

Changing someone’s attitude is not easy, but it is possible in some instances – not all. By following these tips, you can help to create a more positive and productive work environment for everyone. 

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