How can you ensure harmony in the workplace in a world where employees are playing different songs?
At a time in our country when tensions are high and the future is uncertain, disagreements can easily evolve into bad blood between workers who hold diverse opinions and beliefs. By setting an example and focusing on common goals and interests, managers and other leaders can help maintain peace and productivity in the workplace.
It may be easier than you think:
- Practice appreciation. Work at proactively forming positive relationships with employees. On a personal level, give them a way to celebrate common interests with others. Create a recognition program where colleagues are encouraged to acknowledge each other’s good work and contributions to the organization. Stress common goals and celebrate organizational achievements as a team.
- Reinforce policies. Remind workers about policies regarding topics that are considered inappropriate for workplace discussion. Stress the difference between expressing opinions and harassing others. Consider a refresher course for managers and others on conflict resolution.
- Encourage positive communication and mutual respect. Give workers communication tools that can help them be more effective in their interactions. Promote empathy, listening, understanding. Conduct exercises or activities that help employees find common ground and mutual interests.
- Provide a common cause. Start group volunteer activities that enable workers to come together and focus on a shared goal.
- Seek out “great uniters.” Bring in catered meals for staff to enjoy together. Have people share favorite recipes or photos of children or pets. Find something that everyone enjoys and give them a chance to share it together.