You’ve got some very talented and valuable employees, but there’s one problem. As is common when diverse groups of people spend lots of time together, there are sometimes clashes in the office.
Employees need to feel like a real team to be productive, and no one looks forward to work if they’re constantly spatting with colleagues.
Here are five tips to cultivate harmonious relationships in your office.
1) Encourage communication
Colleagues who don’t communicate with each other can’t function properly and need to feel like they’re being heard in order to feel productive at work. You can encourage open communication by having regular meetings to discuss progress and give feedback. Make sure everybody is invited to express their opinion or share their ideas at team meetings.
Encouraging open lines of communication among colleagues who tend to rub each other up the wrong way is also key for a happier work environment. Which brings us on to our second point…
2) Help identify and tackle existing issues
If there’s a problem among team members you may need to step in if they are unable to resolve their issues themselves.
Possible problems may include one team member not meeting deadlines, disagreements about how to proceed with a project, or, quite simply, a personality clash. It’s important to address any problems within the team as soon as possible, as letting problems fester makes them more difficult to resolve. You don’t want negativity to rub off on the other team members!
You need to be prepared to play mediator between dissatisfied employees to help smooth out bumps in the team, in order to restore a peaceful atmosphere in your office.
3) Encourage social interaction
If employees have the chance to interact in a social setting, they’re more likely to get on in the workplace, too. Try encouraging this by implementing a monthly work lunch (it needn’t be pricey – bring-and-share can work a treat) or arranging social activities, such as grabbing a drink together after work.
For more intense team-building, why not book a day out? Outdoor pursuits can be an excellent way to build trust and friendship within the team, and you’re sure to have a good laugh. Just hope for a sunny day.
4) Introduce incentives
Implementing recognition programmes for meeting targets can help cultivate a great team spirit. Incentives can be anything from a voucher or a bottle of wine to something more personal – a grooming voucher for a dog-loving employee, and a chocolate hamper for the office sweet-tooth, for example.
Praising employees for their hard work makes people feel appreciated, and makes people strive to work hard.
Saying “thank you” every so often is great for morale, and definitely helps foster team spirit.
5) Building a harmonious office space
Having an open and well thought out office space definitely helps to cultivate a friendly working environment. If employees are partitioned off from others in cubicles, or if different teams are placed in cordoned off spaces, it makes for a divided workplace.
When people can see each other and have the freedom to chat openly, it makes them feel more relaxed and welcome to interact with others.
You can even step it up a notch and introduce a small break room or area with sofas, a kettle, beanbags – whatever works best for you – to encourage employees to take chill-out sessions where they can chat and relax.
When staff are happy, it leads to a more productive workday and a lower employee turnover rate. A friendly working environment is essential for productive work – even if that means an extra bit of effort on your part from time to time.