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How to Reduce Employee Cynicism

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Rampant cynicism in the workplace can lead to high turnover and low job satisfaction. Staffers with low morale often have higher rates of absenteeism, increased stress levels and are not as productive as those with positive attitudes. Management intervention and improved employee relations can help create a workplace where cynicism does not thrive.

Involve Employees

Include employees in business decision-making processes where appropriate to give them a sense of ownership and pride in the company. Regularly communicate to employees how their efforts and contributions positively impact the business. When change is imminent, keep them apprised of new processes and encourage them to make suggestions about how to improve performance.

Empower Employees

Give employees some degree of power over the way they perform their jobs and make decisions related to their positions. Employees who feel in control of job functions are more likely to have a positive outlook about their employer and be invested in the outcome of their performance. Give employees the tools and resources they need to do their jobs effectively and provide regular constructive feedback and evaluation to help reinforce solid professional contributions.

Ask for Feedback

Conduct surveys and focus groups to solicit input from employees. When you implement employee suggestions, share the effects of the implementation with them so they understand their ideas are listened to and valued. If you encourage employees to invest themselves at all stages of business planning, including strategizing, brainstorming and implementation, they will see themselves as integral parts of the company.

Manage Morale

Keep an eye on employee morale and conduct reverse performance appraisals, allowing employees to rate supervisors. Create an open door policy that encourages interaction among staffers and managers. Monitor internal gossip to ensure that unfounded or damaging rumors aren’t infiltrating the workplace, and dispel misinformation as soon as it arises.

Share Information

Cynicism can arise when employees feel they are being kept in the dark about the company or that the employer has little interest in the equitable or fair treatment of staff. Be transparent in business processes as much as possible, and communicate both good and bad news to employees so they have a sense of open and honest communication.


Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey's work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.

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