Why Negative Talk Matters
Negative talk between employees is your business as a manager, because it damages work motivation and contaminates attitudes, spreading a negative view of the workplace that can undo all your good efforts to build employee motivation.
Specifically, the negative-speaking employee in the case above is feeling victimized and is communicating this victim role to others. That's a negative attitude you don't want spreading, as it quickly saps employees' energy and initiative.
In addition, the employee's offhand comments about her expenses reflect a conflict-oriented approach. She assumes she is in conflict with her company's HR department and portrays it as an usagainst-them struggle to her coworker, thereby spreading a negative ...