World Humanitarian Day 2018
July 24 2018Read more
We spend nearly a third of our lives at work, which can often make it feel like we spend more time with our work colleagues than our family. As work can be stressful, fast paced and demanding, it makes sense that we can come to depend on our colleagues and also sometimes come into conflict with them.
Managers need to set the tone for how we communicate at work. Noticing if a colleague seems disengaged or if they have isolated themselves and asking them if they are okay, can be a simple way to foster a positive and open working environment for all.
Normalising the idea that we all experience tough days and encouraging individuals to talk about this, demonstrates understanding and helps employees feel more accepted.
Similarly, if you become aware of a conflict or dispute amongst your colleagues, it’s your responsibility to openly address this. Again, normalising the fact that sometimes we can be upset, angry, or emotional at work, can promote a greater emotional intelligence and sense of self-awareness in the workplace.
Giving employees a chance to voice their concerns in a safe space early on can give you a good opportunity to ascertain how a person is doing and what they might need to improve their wellbeing.
Of course, this means that your management team need to be aware of their emotional needs and monitor how they treat each other. Strong support between one another, checking in with other managers and being aware of when they experience emotional issues or become frustrated can help them lead by example.
With your management team demonstrating positive working relationships, this in turn will encourage team members to do the same. This will help build a positive working atmosphere in the workplace.
Whilst many employers may perceive friendships in the workplace to be a distraction from the tasks employees are asked to complete, a detached and unsociable atmosphere can actually cause more harm than small periods of chatter.
If employees don’t feel connected to the people they work with, they will either become disengaged or potentially seek alternative employment in order to establish these connections. Both of these scenarios are equally harmful to an organisation and its productivity.
A large part of a how an employee experiences the workplace derives from the relationship they form with the team they work alongside. If employees fail to form a bond with their co-workers, or even worse, if they completely dislike their colleagues, then they may be unlikely to form a strong commitment to the organisation in question.
Social structures within the work environment are important. If a team who works together get on well, they are likely to develop a mini community, who will be there to support each other and pick one another up in times of high pressure within the workplace.
For example, if an urgent deadline has been brought forward, a unified and tight-knit team will be more willing to collaborate and help each other, thus producing better results.
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