Harmony in the workplace is vital to a productive and efficient business
Workplace harmony is one of the top priorities for talent looking for job opportunities. It is also a factor that’s closely connected to workplace ethics. When an organization places priority on great work ethics and takes proactive steps towards maintaining the harmony between the team members, all employees are happy. When they are happy, they are more productive. When they are more productive, the business thrives.
So, the strive to maintain office harmony may be motivated by selfish reasons, but that’s not really important. As long as the employees are satisfied with their jobs, all is good.
In the Deloitte Millennial Survey 2018, one finding is pretty interesting: “Attracting and retaining Millennials and Gen Z respondents begins with financial rewards and workplace culture.” If these workers don’t get the financial and cultural satisfaction they seek, they will leave the job. Easy as that! In fact, the same survey showed that 43 percent of Millennials envisioned leaving their jobs within the period of two years.
We cannot stress this enough: it’s important for employees to get along. The leader shouldn’t just leave things to chance. You can’t put different personalities in an office and expect them to sort things out. You have to be proactive towards achieving a harmonious workplace.
How exactly can you do that?
Main Practices to Achieve and Maintain Office Harmony
- Establish a Fair Bonus/Reward Policy
Tonya Keats, team leader at CareersBooster, shares her experience: “I was very happy with the work of one of my writers, and I gave her a nice bonus. It was a big mistake. Not because I gave her the bonus she deserved, but because I wasn’t being fair to the other writers. One of them said, ‘I always do my job well and I only get praise.’ He was right and I saw my mistake, so I established clear policies regarding bonuses and rewards.”
When you don’t have a clear reward scheme and you still decide to give bonuses, negative feelings will develop between the employees. They will feel that some members of the team are privileged. You don’t want that to happen. Clear bonus policies are one of the foundational aspects for maintaining office harmony.
- Make Sure All Responsibilities Are Clearly Outlined
Cat Thompson, one of the founders of RushMyEssay, shares a different experience: “It didn’t take me long to realize that the disharmony in my team resulted from the lack of clear guidelines for each member. When the editors required revisions from the writers, the writers said that was an editor’s job. The editors felt like it was their job to indicate the flaws, so the writers could correct them. It was a mess that led to a dysfunctional team. We fixed by clearly outlining each employee’s responsibilities.”
You can prevent conflicting situations by making sure everyone understands their responsibilities. They can ask for help from other team members, but they cannot ask for someone else to do their job.
- Boost Communication Levels in the Office
The ability to connect with others is one of the fundamental characteristics of successful people. When you notice there’s no harmony in the office, lack of proper communication is an obvious symptom. You can solve miscommunication problems by clarifying your company’s policies and everyone’s tasks.
But what happens when the employees simply don’t like each other? This is where you, as a boss, should take action. Join them in the office. Take all of them out for lunch once a week. Talk to them and inspire conversations and debates. With time and effort, they will eventually find the things they have in common.
The way you arrange the offices also makes a difference. Don’t put walls in between people. An open office space supports collaboration in a much better way.
- Leave No Space for Sabotage
Competition is healthy only when it doesn’t go to extremes. When one or more of your employees envy others, they will develop negative attitude towards them, and they will try to make it hard for them to do their job. They may hide important information or procrastinate with their part of the work just because they don’t want this “enemy” to meet the deadline.
You mustn’t allow that to happen. Always emphasize the fact that collaboration is crucial to everyone’s success. When someone does a great job, the entire team benefits from it. The employees should be loyal to the team even if they don’t like someone in it. If you notice any signs of sabotage, act ASAP! Make it known that there’s no space for such behavior in your offices.
- Invest in Team Building Activities
Team building is definitely not a waste of time. Sure, the activities may seem silly when you read about them. But if you get everyone out in nature and you make them collaborate towards a common goal, you’ll see the real effectiveness of team building. It’s a type of experience that helps the employees build connections.
Layla Johnson, part of the HR department at ResumesPlanet, says: “Crystal Maze, paintballing, and cooking classes are really fun. The best thing about these games is that although they don’t last long, they help the employees develop lasting bonds.”
Office Harmony Is a Leader’s Responsibility
The process of developing office harmony starts and ends with the employer. You’re the one to decide who enters the team. From that initial moment, you affect the office culture. Your responsibilities don’t end there. You must keep inspiring better connections and more effective collaboration.
Written by: Tiffany Harper