Nothing hurts productivity more than a negative work environment. If your employees aren't happy, you'll know. It may not be noticeable at first, but there will be signs. If you know what to look for, you'll be able to identify and eliminate the issue. Read more about what can hurt productivity and how to combat it below:

1. Negativity is contagious
An unenthusiastic or antagonistic environment can be detrimental to the company. Just one negative employee can cause an increasingly stressful setting. According to the Houston Chronicle, stress can lead to a breakdown in communication, creativity and focus. If employees fear how their ideas and thoughts will be received because of low office morale, they're most likely going to keep quiet and nothing will be accomplished.

According to author and managing partner of SilverStar Enterprises consulting firm Gary S. Topchik, "negativity is a virus." He explained on The Center for Association Leadership's website that it spreads and shows itself in varying forms. Whether you're saying pessimistic things, acting passive aggressive or frowning, you're displaying negativity. If one person surrounds himself or herself with negative energy, other people are apt to do the same.

2. Turn that frown upside down
While positive emotions don't last long, they do create high morale, John Gaspari, a licensed clinical worker who instructs companies on how to manage the workplace, explained to Forbes.

"They pay off in major ways – in building friendships and strong partnerships, in higher incomes, and in better physical health and longevity," Gaspari told the source. "They don't just reflect success – they cause success."

Realizing there's a problem is the first step toward turning negatives into positives, Topchik explained. To end negativity, you need to address it. However, don't be confrontational or overly positive. That'll put the individual on the defensive. Be open and willing to help, but make sure you identify the problem.

3. Positivity is infectious too
If you can't pinpoint where the negativity is coming from, work on bringing up the spirit of the entire office. One of the leading causes of inefficiency in the workplace is a lack of appreciation, according to Lolly Daskal, president and CEO of Lead From Within, a leadership development consulting firm. She explained to Inc. that people want to be recognized. When your employees feel appreciated, they'll be much happier.

As workers' moods start improving, so should their rewards. Provide incentives for positive attitudes and a job well done. Finding a way to work extra benefits into your financial plan will boost morale in the long run. Throw a holiday party or provide lunch one day a week. If your employees can see that hard work and positivity are appreciated, they'll be willing to check their negativity at the door.