When you put a number of professionals together, no matter who they are, at some point in time, tension will arise.
Maybe itÂs over a business disagreement, maybe they have some differing visions for the future, or maybe they simply donÂt get along.
But the bottom line is that people sometimes have to work together despite these things (or not and that means someone losing his or her job).
So how do you make, and keep, a happy, trusting work place where your employees can be productive and successful?
Think about it when hiring
When you are in the hiring process, think about how new employees will connect and interact with current employees.
If you see personalities that will certainly clash, you may want to rethink that hire even if everything else is top notch. If you get a vibe on different goals or perspectives that youÂre not ready for, think twice.
ItÂs much easier on everyone if you just donÂt get there in the first place than to have to deal with personality challenges, misconceptions and not seeing eye to eye in the future.
Notice what is going on
If you see employees struggling to get along or avoiding one another, try to figure out what is going on.
You could meet with each one separately or talk to an unbiased party and get to the bottom of it. ItÂs not a bad idea to mediate a meeting between those not getting along, and if you are one of them, you need to speak up and try to work out problems before they become unworkable.
If you can get to the bottom of things before they escalate, you could possibly save a lot of turmoil and tension.
DonÂt put your head in the sand
If youÂve noticed something, or you personally are having trouble with someone, you need to address it.
Problems sometimes go away, but often they donÂt. And if they donÂt, you may have much bigger problems to attend to, like people quitting, having to fire someone, losing income due to time spent on this or unhappy customers. Remember, tension needs to be addressed.
Keep a positive atmosphere
Keeping a positive atmosphere in the workplace will help keep these problems to a minimum.
If you can provide a safe atmosphere where your employees feel trusted and have at least one person they can go to, it will help. If your employees feel valued and that even through professional disagreements, you still respect their work and opinions, tensions may be kept at bay.
You, as an employer, can set clear goals and recognize achievements. When you show value, even when tension exists, the positive may outweigh the negative feelings.
Remember there is life outside of work
Sometimes when there is extra tension or someone seems more stressed or difficult to get along with, remember there may be something outside of work going on.
Sure, work at work is priority, but sometimes itÂs hard to focus on the positive when some other aspect of your world is falling apart, be it health, family or other external stress. Try to find out if something else is underlying before taking severe measures.
As a business owner, you have lots of roles to play.
Sometimes mediator or confidante is one. Sometimes you have to make decisions you donÂt want to.
Keep a constant eye on things, and maybe you can prevent office tensions from escalating too far.
Photo credit: livinggreenmag.com
About the Author: Heather Legg is a writer who covers topics on small business, getting along with others and a companyÂs online reputation.