Managers Guide To Creating Harmony In The Workplace

Let’s face it, not all workplaces are created equally. Some companies feel more like extended families, and everyone that works in a place like that reports having categorically higher job satisfaction, with predictable effects on productivity and morale.

Obviously, you want your business to be like that. A place where your employees come to work, yes, but a place they also enjoy coming to. One that’s not filled with angry whispers, infighting and tension, but how do you create such an environment?

While there are no simple answers to that question, if you follow the tips below, you’ll be well on your way to creating a happy, harmonious, productive work environment:

Encourage Ideas From Everyone

Many managers claim to have an open-door policy, but in practice, most simply don’t. Not because they can’t, but because they don’t really know how.

The first, best way to create a happy, harmonious environment is to encourage your employees to think outside the box, and outside the relatively narrow definitions of their job descriptions. You and your management team cannot and will not come up with every great idea your company pursues. It’s a waste of time to even try.

Instead, encourage any employee to bring any idea to the attention of management. What happens next will probably shock and surprise you. Your employees undoubtedly have a whole raft of great ideas you and your management team would have never even considered, and while you may not be able to implement all of them, if you pay close attention to them, you’ll find no shortage of ways to increase your firm’s productivity and thus, your bottom line.

The important thing here is that when an employee brings an idea to your attention and that idea gets implements, you’ve got to recognize that employee’s contribution in a public and meaningful way. Doing so will reinforce the “open door policy,” and encourage further participation from even more of your employees.

Give Regular Feedback

Most employees dread being called into the manager’s office, because at most companies, that usually means they did something wrong. Flip the script here! While it’s true that most employee praise should be given in public, you should encourage your managers to meet with their employees one on one on a regular basis, just to touch base, provide feedback, and give praise where praise is due.

Doing that will put everybody more at ease, because being called into the manager’s office isn’t synonymous with getting chewed out for something, and that’s going to do great things for the work environment in general.

Encourage Stronger Interpersonal Relationships

Google has a great way of doing this in the lunch room, that even has its own name. They call it the “Google Bump.”

All the chairs and tables are set slightly too close together, so that it’s all but inevitable you’ll bump into someone when you take your seat or get back up, and odds are it’ll be someone you haven’t had a deep conversation with before.

By encouraging those kinds of “bumps” you create more opportunities for people to strike up spontaneous conversations and get to know each other better, which improves the work environment overall.

Hand in hand with this, if you’re in the habit of having your managers dine separately from your rank and file employees, stop that process immediately so that management is more accessible to your employees, and vice versa.

There are, of course, plenty of others, but if you just implement these ideas, you’ll be amazed at how profoundly they’ll impact your work environment.