The workplace is a melting pot of cultures, beliefs, religions, sexual orientations, and nationalities. That said, everyone must be sensitive about the feelings of one another. Any offending remarks or misbehaviour can affect a co-worker in many ways. Therefore, the managers or business owners should put the extra effort to keep the workplace peaceful.
Misunderstandings and disputes happen anywhere, even at home and in the office. Differences can create tension among members of the team, and if the leaders are not proactive at neutralising disputes, there could be chaos in the workplace. A toxic environment is harmful to the employees and the business, which is why everyone should do their part in maintaining peace and order.
Here are some practical ways to make sure the leaders and employees get along and work in unity and harmony:
The House Rules Must Be Comprehensive and Enforced
Every workplace has a set of house rules that all employees must adhere to — no exception. These rules must be adequately communicated to everyone and should be enforced in the workplace. Any violation merits a specific penalty or corrective action, depending on the degree or severity.
But there should be a so-called due process when it comes to investigating incidents and taking corrective actions. Many companies follow a set of guidelines. For example, discussion logs are issued to employees who commit minor mistakes or violations. The leaders or the company may impose heavier penalties for serious cases, such as misconduct, insubordination, or failure to fulfill their duties and responsibilities deliberately.
Office Gossip Should Be Banned
Some people can’t help but talk about something they just overheard somewhere without even verifying if it’s true or not. Other people are quick to believe and judge someone based on what they hear. Office gossip is the worst enemy of every company, and it can have a huge impact on the unity and harmony in the workplace.
To prevent disputes among colleagues, a company should ban office gossip and encourage the employees to avoid talking about other people’s lives inside the workplace. A person who spreads rumours and unverified information, especially if it’s defamatory, should be warned or investigated immediately.
Any false accusations or information can affect a person’s reputation and self-esteem. Employees should mind their own business and focus on performing their tasks. Managers should encourage their teams to avoid office gossip so that conflicts and other consequences can be prevented.
There Should Be a Sound Dispute Resolution Process
Dispute resolution can be a simple or complex process, depending on the type of problem being addressed. A peaceful settlement should always be the goal. If a more comprehensive and legal approach is needed, working with an experienced solicitor is a good option. This professional knows better when it comes to laws that cover employment and workplace disputes.
There should be a detailed dispute resolution procedure in place. As much as possible, simple issues should be resolved internally. But in some cases, a lawyer is necessary to settle disputes and resolve serious problems in the workplace. It’s essential to keep these issues confidential to prevent office gossip and many other bad things that could happen.
Be Mindful of Office Politics
Company executives and team leaders should treat their people fairly or equally. Favouritism is easy to spot, and it can affect the morale of the employees. Doing things in favour of a specific member of the team or workforce frequently can be highly suspicious in the eyes of other employees.
Dividing the tasks equally among team members is a good practice. That means everyone will do their part in reaching the goals of the organisation. Office politics kills productivity and efficiency, and it can tear an entire team apart. Factions are expected, and the tenure or title is honoured in many workplaces, but using power to make subordinates do things that are either bad or against their will is unacceptable. Also, promoting or demoting someone without a valid reason and a proper evaluation process is not cool.
A detailed code of ethics and standard operating procedures should be available to guide every significant decision in the workplace. That will also help avoid office politics and all the bad things it could bring. Office politics can be either destructive or beneficial in some cases.
Maintaining peace and order in the workplace must be a collective effort. Everyone should do their part in preventing conflicts and nurturing professional relationships. When making decisions regarding conflicts or violations, it’s essential to review the house rules properly and be mindful of other people’s rights. Company leaders must be fair, sensitive, careful enough to ensure that the employees are working harmoniously and efficiently.