An experienced employer can easily tell the difference between a committed employee who is in the company for the long haul and a temporary worker who will not put as much effort in and can drag a team down. To engage people in a professional and respectful manner that meet company’s needs and drive the organization you need to invest into positive employee interaction, this will lead to better working relationships and have a beneficial impact on the working environment and productivity, plus it will make your company a sought-after place to work.
If your company’s relationship with employees, and co-worker relationships could do with some improvement then the five tips below will give you a good starting point.
Tip #1: Practice Good Manners
Nobody is saying your employees are rude and abrasive but you do need to define good manners and accepted practices. A simple exchange of smiles or handshake and a “Hi!” are one of the crucial points of building a constructive workplace. Refer to people by name and exchange your opinion on the current workflow to bring to light its soft spots and establish a contact with co-workers. In a lot of offices there are shared spaces such a kitchen or seating areas so don’t leave your rubbish around and expect others to be neat and tidy.
Tip #2: Apply Effective Conversation
Of course, it doesn’t mean you need to drink coffee and chat with your colleagues at length but the occasional “water cooler” chat can do wonders. These informal chats allow you to find out information about employees that may be useful within the business – perhaps someone works for their local amateur theater so they may be great at presentations, perhaps someone runs their own website so they may be interested in running the department intranet page.
You also need to take into account how people prefer to be contacted. Some workers will prefer you to make contact via email while the others find phone calls as a faster and more efficient way of communication and information transfer. Each of your co-workers is an individual and requires a separate approach and using their preferred method of contact will lead to a more effective conversation flow.
Tip #3: Respect Co-worker’s Time
It is important to understand that your colleagues have their own work, agenda and responsibilities and that while you may all work as a team their own personal time is important too. A simple rule here is to understand that you shouldn’t take up time from any of your employees if it’s not extremely important – and don’t allow them to do it to others in turn. Don’t draw away any of your co-workers from their own work to finish up something that you could handle yourself the following day. It’s better to return to it later rather than force assistance from others.
Another good practice is to conduct meetings with other co-workers at the time convenient for all the participants. Don’t treat yourself to a late for a meeting or business lunch when everyone else is happy with a 9am meeting, and make it a habit to inform your employees about any timetable changes with plenty of notice.
Tip #4: Pay Attention To Social Media Networks
Make sure your employees don’t use their private accounts for any business interactions. Not only can this reflect badly on the business with member of the public, it can also lead to litigation and a whole host of issues. Make sure you have a robust social media policy in place, but don’t ban social networks from the workplace completely. For many, these tools are a vital way to stay in touch with friends and family so set out your expectations in terms of when these systems can and can’t be used as banning them will foster resentment and lead to even more abuse than if they were allowed.
Tip #5: Seek Feedback And Give Feedback
Have you just finished a long-term project with your team? Send a company email saying: ‘Did that work for you?’, ‘How was the meeting?’, ‘How did you like it?’. In such a way you’ll manage to gather additional information on your organization workflow weaknesses. Make sure you thank people for their input into the project – a little appreciation goes a long way and can really help with motivation and team building.
The Bottom Line
Follow up with people that work ‘under the same roof’ with you and realize the positive changes. Encourage your co-workers to rise to higher levels and be successful. Care for the people working with you and don’t forget each of them is an individual that wants a personal approach. All of these tips will help you to build a successful and rounded team that works well with each other and wants all team-mates to achieve success.