Do you have this cosy idea that all your staff work well together as a team, help each other out when the pressure is on and cover absent colleagues workload?  Well forget it!  Recent research from Ceridian has shown that millions of workers cannot stand their work colleagues.  Whilst you might not necessarily want them all to be partying together, you probably would be happy with a way of working where all of the team gets on and helps each other out when necessary.

If staff don’t get on, what impact can this have on your business and your profitability?  Quite a lot it seems.  21% of respondents to the survey were most irritated by colleagues shirking work and 11% named tantrums and arguments in open spaces as the most stressful behaviour from colleagues which affects their work.  Worryingly, 58% would not raise their concerns with their manager or HR Department.  So what can you do to improve things?

Workplace conflict.  Deal with workplace conflict as soon as you know about it.  If it is a long standing problem, then it is even more important to deal with it decisively.  Conflict problems will not go away on their own.  Whilst it’s very tempting just to overlook conflict and hope everyone will sort it out themselves, ignoring conflict now will only lead to a bigger problem in the future.

Communication.  It sounds simple but good communication is fiendishly challenging to achieve.  It is one of the main concerns and criticisms from staff that they don’t know what is going on in the business.  This leads to rumours, gossip and inconsistent messages around the company.  Give staff the opportunity to participate and express their opinions.  Communicate, communicate, communicate.  Need I say more?

Fairly and consistent treatment of staff.  Do you favour some staff over others?  Do you give one employee a written warning for lateness but not someone else?  All your staff are aware of what you do and how you treat everyone.  As a manager every move you make is seen. Consistent behaviour by you will reduce the potential for issues within your team.  Treat your staff with integrity and respect and they will treat each other the same way.

Stress.  You are probably very weary of hearing how bad stress in the workplace is.  However, it can be a real problem and one which needs to be dealt with for not only health and safety reasons, productivity but overall staff well-being as well.  Dealing with matters to relieve workplace stress can have benefits for everyone as there is a known link between stress and sickness absence levels.  Do you provide stress awareness training for your managers and staff?

Workload.  Make sure that everyone is taking their fair share of the workload.  Staff become unhappy when others in the team are not sharing the workload and working equitably.  Include staff in decision making about priorities, targets and managing the work that needs to be done.  Make sure the team is adequately resourced so that they can get on with their job properly  Resources may be money, people, time, etc.

If all else fails, get some alternative suggestions by reading 500 Reasons Why … I Hate The Office by Malcolm Burgess.  A riotous view of office life.

If you would like to find out more about encouraging team work, give us a call on 01736 339 384 or email HelloThere@sapiencehr.co.uk