Owner's Outlook: Eliminate Negativity

  By Barb Bruno  |    Monday March 13, 2018

Category: Columns, Expert Advice


One person can’t make a business, but one person can break it. There is nothing more frustrating than to have negativity or attitudes in a member of your sales team.  “Does anyone who works for you suck the oxygen out of your office when they arrive at work?”  

If your answer is yes, you have no idea how much this is costing you in potential sales and profits.

•    Some people see the glass half full

•   Some people see the glass half empty

•   Some people don’t even see the glass (you can’t afford to have this person work in your office)


Your team’s success depends on:

•   10% of what happens to them

•   90% of how they react

Often the best decision is not to react!


Most people who are negative would never describe themselves as being negative.  In fact, they may even make the statement that they don’t like negative people.  Yet many of these people start sentences with, “You wouldn’t believe” or “No way.”

You can’t employ the person, who overacts to what happens throughout the day.  They will not only shut down their profit center, but will shut down the profit centers of the other members of your sales team.  Ask yourself if you have any employees who focus on problems and have a hard time switching to solutions.  This one habit will also limit sales and profits.



We have people on both sides of our sale.  The staffing and recruiting profession is filled with rejection, objections, disappointments, gut wrenching moments and frustrations.

We hire aggressive competitive individuals and in many instances, they are competing against their co-workers to produce.  Managers and owners should expect storms and learn how to deal effectively with them.  The key to dealing with attitudes and storms is consistency.   


Refer to your policy and procedures handbook.  Following processes will help you focus on solutions vs. dwelling on problems.  Decisions made based on emotion are often inconsistent and can result negative morale.  

A few examples of items that should be included in your employee handbook are:

•   Working hours

•   Benefits and costs

•   Compensation

•   Paid time off

•   Expectations of employee

•   Expectations from employer

•   Ownership of clients

•   Ownership of candidates

•   Split fee process

•   Email policy

•   Social media policy

•   Expenses covered


Think of fun ways of dealing with negative attitudes in your office.  You could have a “pool” and any time someone makes a negative remark, they donate $1.00.  This is an easy way for someone to become very aware of their negativity.  The highest donor chose the charity that would be the recipient of the money.

It is not your responsibility to motivate your team.  The best you can do is create a motivating environment.  You can’t motivate someone who does not want to be motivated.  If you are a parent you know that to be a true fact.  

Successful individuals in our profession are self-competitive and self-motivated.  Never underestimate the impact of attitude as the owner.  Your attitude must be consistent and positive.  Your team should not have the challenge of determining which version of you is arriving at work.  As the owner, you often set the mood for your entire business and can ruin someone’s entire day by walking in and not greeting them.

Most staffing and recruiting teams are not having enough fun.  Anything you can do to interject fun into your management style will work.  When someone makes a placement or fill, do you hit a gong?  Ring a bell?  Do a placement or fill dance?  Business filled is something to be celebrated.  Laughter and joy are good for business.

Everyone on your team should write down the highlight of their day on their planner before you leave work.   Focus on what goes right each day and leave feeling good about something.

The staffing and recruiting profession is a sales environment where contests and recognition help create a motivating environment.  Recognition does not always need to be monetary.  For most individuals in our profession, instant gratification is not fast enough.  Suggest contests that involve leaving early, working from home, dressing casual or other things that would motivate you to a higher level of production. 

Your business is your ticket to living the life of your dreams.  Your future, your income and what you can or can’t do for the people you love depends to a great extent on the attitudes of your team.  Follow this advice and you will eliminate negativity and bad attitudes which is good for your bottom line.

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