They call it office politics, but it can also infiltrate the warehouse floor, causing extra stress for anyone who becomes caught up in it. Workplace politics often lead to morale issues, which, in turn, results in lower productivity. The most exasperating aspect of office politics is that the problems that cause it are usually either quickly fixed or could have been avoided in the first place.
Bringing your team together and quickly resolving issues makes for a happier and more productive workplace. Here are some tips for uniting your employees and keeping workplace politics at bay:
Listen to your employees
Discord in the workplace often starts when people believe no one is listening to them. Show your team that you are a good listener by having informal chats with them regularly. If you see that someone looks troubled or angry, have a word with them in private to show your concern.
Don’t allow physical barriers to divide your team
If you have more than one group and they are working in separate areas, consider switching to an open plan working environment, if possible. It’s difficult for teams to feel united when partitions and walls keep them apart.
Consider cultural differences
Today’s workplace is likely to be filled with people of diverse backgrounds, cultures, and countries. Small factions might form among those from similar cultures, and they may end up isolating themselves. By mixing the teams and promoting a we’re-all-in-this-together culture, you will have a better chance of unifying your team.
Take time to brainstorm
If you have two team members who have contrasting views on a subject, bring them together, and initiate a brainstorming session. They will hopefully learn to work with each other despite their differences, and find that there is usually a mutually beneficial solution.
Allow everyone to learn
Problems within the team often come from gaps in knowledge or competency among team members. This inequality can cause conflict, so you must provide every member with an opportunity to learn. If you see knowledge gaps, fill them immediately.
Make some rules on using email
Email can cause stress and conflict on your teams. There are missed messages, slow responses, and too much wasted time. Set some helpful parametes on checking emails, and persuade your people to forego an email message when a quick phone call suffices – unless documentation is needed.
Hand out team rewards
When it’s time for reviews in the future, do a team review along with the individual employee reviews. By doing this, you could bring your people together and encourage them to confront any issues face-to-face. It’s one more way to show them you are listening, to them and to the team as a whole.
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