When you assemble a team with the skills needed to bring your business vision to life, you often end up with a diverse group. While their combined expertise might be just what your business needs to succeed, keeping them all on the same page can sometimes prove challenging. Interpersonal relationships between workers often carry some hostility fueled by differing personalities and backgrounds, but you can take steps to reduce friction and make your work environment happy and harmonious.
Encourage Engagement and Creativity
Workers who lack engagement with your business’s main mission can drive down morale across your entire staff, and since misery loves company, those who remain actively non-engaged often go out of their way to make other workers unhappy. Confronting the issue diplomatically in private can help you discover why those workers don’t feel connected to your mission while providing opportunities to get them back on board with the team. If they feel frustration due to a lack of challenge or under-utilization of their particular talents, clear communication and a company culture that promotes creativity can get these employees back on track quickly, reducing the risk of other workers leaving due to a toxic work environment.
Create Clear-Cut Conflict Resolution Policies
While conflict often drives creativity, it can also reduce office productivity and efficiency and encourage bad behavior, making conflict resolution policies important. If two of your staff members just can’t get along, bring them together for a moderated discussion of their issues, and seek out ways to keep them happy. For these discussions and others where words have the potential to get heated, set clear-cut rules that demand each participant treat others respectfully. Take action right away to prevent these situations from festering, and encourage brainstorming and collaboration that lets your diverse staff share ideas in a non-judgmental environment.
Provide Incentives for Team Success
When you provide incentives for team success, you actively encourage your staff to work together to succeed. You can still focus on individual incentives with year-end bonus programs while developing team goals that pay off for every member. Use long lunches to motivate staff who have been working extra hard, or offer one-time spot bonuses for teams that deliver early on group projects. Peer-to-peer rewards can help boost morale across your staff by asking each member to nominate someone they work with for special recognition. This not only re-frames conflicts in a way that sees the good in each staff member, it also displays your commitment to keeping your workers satisfied with their jobs.
Create a Policy to Cover Staff Romances
While some conflicts arise due to toxic work environments, many occur due to interpersonal relationships that have soured. This makes having policies in place to address romance between workers a must. Regardless of your policy, workers should understand the dangers of sexual harassment, and they should be encouraged to report their relationships to human resources before conflicts arise. One way to prevent abuse of power is to ban relationships between staff and the people they report to directly and require everyone to act professionally while at work.
Though it can seem difficult to develop a happy, harmonious work environment for a diverse group, planning ahead can simplify the challenge. By fostering both individual growth and team unity and ensuring staff understands work rules with clear, concise policies, you can create a productive culture that benefits your company, employees, and customers.