Sunday, March 1, 2009

Fostering Positive Workplace Relations

5 Steps toward Fostering Positive Workplace Relations

With our focus on "New Beginnings", and in light of April being Workplace Conflict Awareness Month, we'd like to draw your attention to the importance of cohesive workplace relations and teamwork.

Below are 5 things you can do to foster positive workplace relations on teams and among co-workers.

1. Encourage Socialization

Research shows that 60-80% of all difficulties in organizations stems from strained relations. With that we know that workplace associations are the single biggest factor in determining effectiveness and productivity at work. Create an environment that fosters positive relations, and the healthy atmosphere will circulate back into the company. To put it simply, you will find that a happy employee is a more productive and loyal employee.

2. Value Proximity

Working closely with someone should be considered in both the literal and figurative forms. Staff and teams who work in direct proximity to one another will communicate more frequently and more openly. This builds trust, rapport, and aids in teamwork and productivity.

3. Manage People, Not Paperwork

A managers most important role is to engage his/her staff and help them to accomplish more by supporting their efforts, addressing their needs, and being involved in their success. A manager who is committed to his/her team makes them stronger and more cohesive.

4. Discuss Discord

Conflict is a natural occurrence and is best addressed early on. Avoiding discussion or interfering with efforts to work it out will cause the conflict to grow and those involved to become further entrenched. Instead encourage discussion and open communication between those at the heart of the issue. Creating understanding builds relationships - regardless of whether or not full agreement is reached.

5. Recognize and Reward

By focusing on the oft-ignored positive behaviors you can build strength of both the individual and the team. Have those achieving the most success discuss and describe how they accomplished their goals and feats. Sharing and discussion provides for mentoring of new skills and may create some healthy competition as well.