Last time we discussed how tension can gain a foothold in a business, directly affecting employee productivity and job satisfaction. Now let’s look at some things an employer can do to prevent tension from beginning or increasing among his or her staff.
Try spending some social time with coworkers and employees. This kind of outside of work time will create a greater level of comfort between employers and employees. While nightly socializing with employees is not exactly advisable, regular interaction will help. Keep social activities semi-professional, such as cocktails and networking or dinner. Avoid potentially sticky situations and venues such as someone’s home or a particularly seedy pub.
When employees feel there are open lines of communication available to them, they are more likely to address an issue before it blows up. Contrarily, if employees feel their employees are disinterested in listening to them or their concerns, they will internalize their issues which could lead to a larger issue or an employee choosing to leave.
This is a broad idea that can include a variety of topics. For starters, allow employees to bring reminders of home to the office, such as photos or children’s artwork. Plants have been a proven source of improved attitude and increased productivity. Additionally, discouraging certain kinds of conversation can go a long way toward removing tension. Prohibiting employees from gossiping or discussing politics or religion immediately eliminates several sources of tension.
These are all good options for preventing tension before it begins. However, what does one do when workplace frustration has gotten out of hand? Check back for some ideas on how to reduce preexisting tension.