Positive office dynamics add great strength to a business, while strained ones create strife, according to AllBusiness.com.
Managers need to be able to bring team members together to complete projects, and to work together as a single unit.
AllBusiness.com offers theses tips to help managers do just that:
- Communicate goals clearly. When those goals are not clear, disagreements will erupt as employees try to define goals themselves. By clearly laying out goals, everyone begins in the same place and understands where the business is going.
- Define responsibilities. Offices run best when everyone clearly understands their responsibilities. Provide each employee with a distinct definition of his or her own responsibilities, both individually and as it relates to group projects. This eliminates confusion over who is accountable for what and allows employees to relate without struggling over responsibilities.
- Provide equal training. Make sure that each member of your staff is trained and equipped to complete the tasks; divisions surface when one member is unable to perform necessary duties.
- Encourage relationships. Most offices are busy places with many demanding deadlines. However, allowing employees an occasional extended lunch to go out together and relax outside of the work environment can build understanding that will transfer back into the office and improve working relationships.
- Empower. Give decision-making power to the people working on the project. Give them the authority necessary to get their jobs done, but observe the process to make sure they are rising to the challenge.
- Provide feedback. Don’t make a group second-guess your opinion of their work. Be clear not only in your initial expectations and assignments, but also in your opinion of the work. Open communication, where employees are clear on where they stand, will help them feel more secure and willing to work together.
- Reward. Provide rewards to the office as a group such as a luncheon or some other treat, providing the whole office with an encouraging reward for hard work will build team spirit and bring your employees back in with renewed enthusiasm for their job.
- Set reasonable deadlines. Reasonable deadlines are often subjective, and timelines vary based on need.
- Meet regularly. The best way to understand your employees and to let them know they are not alone is to meet regularly with them. Whether it’s a monthly lunch meeting or an organized meeting with specific agenda items, it is critical to keep the lines of communication open.
- Discourage “backdoor” reports. Inevitably, there will be at least one employee who will attempt to report to you after every meeting – giving a play-by-play slanted to their favor. Don’t encourage this behavior. Backdoor tactics can severely undermine an otherwise positive office environment.