Working 40 hours a week and dealing with irate customers all day is going to steadily grind you down.
The latest numbers reveal that workplace stress contributes to 120,000 deaths in the U.S. every year. You may reach a point where you are snapping at your coworkers and becoming more and more irritable.
This is how to create a toxic environment in the office, and this may be an environment that never recovers.
Taking care of your coworkers won’t just increase your stock in the office, but it will also make the work environment a more positive place for everyone. You are going to learn just how you can take better care of your coworkers.
Related Article: Smiles Are Free: How a Positive Business Culture Inspires Employees
Start the Day Right
It’s true that how the day starts will determine how it continues on. If you start off with your shoulders rolled forward and your eyes downcast to the floor as everyone shuffles into the office, this feeling will persist for the rest of the day.
Start the day right by saying hello to everyone you come across. Wishing everybody a cheery good morning will ensure that they are in a good mood. You’ll be surprised at how much of a difference this little gesture can make.
Before you get right to work, invoke the art of small talk. Ask someone about how the family is and about what they did last night. Taking an interest in them makes them feel valued, even if the interaction only lasts for mere seconds.
Ask Them What They Think
The art of leadership says that you should make people feel as if they are part of the overall process of what happens in the office. The same goes for even the small decisions, like where should everyone go out to eat for lunch. It can be anything, but get out of the habit of talking down to someone and telling them how something is or what has to be done.
This goes for everyone from the person at the top of the company to the person at the bottom. Everyone should be listening to everyone else’s opinions.
Robert Carter of Your Company Formations said, “As CEO, it may be easy for me to order people around and tell them what they have to do. But I have always been a big proponent of listening to everyone. I’m still amazed even now by how much it brightens up someone’s day when they feel like someone else cares about what they have to say.”
But when you listen to someone you have to go further than that. You need to actually take what they are saying to heart. It doesn’t mean you have to obey them each and every time. You may disagree with them, but the important part is that you make it clear you have taken their ideas onboard.
Dealing With Workplace Conflict
When a team from different backgrounds all work in the same place, conflict will arise at some point. How you deal with this conflict will determine whether the team is a tightknit group or a bunch or mercenaries who are going to sell each other down the river as soon as something bad happens.
The first step to taking care of every coworker is to put a stop to nasty gossip straight away. This is a form of workplace bullying. The Workplace Bullying Institute revealed that up to a third of all U.S. workers could be a victim of workplace bullying, and that can have a serious impact on productivity and employee retention.
It’s impossible to implement a formal ban because people will just ignore it. You need to take the power away from the gossiper. As soon as they realize nobody cares about gossip they will stop bringing it up.
When a coworker sidles up to you with some juicy gossip just reply with “really?” and then change the subject to something else. This doesn’t have to be done in an arrogant or disdainful way. Sound like you have taken into consideration what they have said and simply move on.
The worst thing you can do is continue the conversation by giving your opinion.
Now that you have dealt with potential workplace gossip, the next form of conflict coms from when things go wrong. This may be because someone is having trouble at home or because a project didn’t go according to plan. Cool heads really do prevail in the long-term.
Whenever you are in such a situation, always think that your children are watching. Imagine that they are in the room with you, or that you are in the middle of the street in a busy shopping mall. This simple technique will prevent you from losing your head and getting heated.
Related Article: The Most Common Workplace Issues and How to Deal with Them
Spread Positivity Around the Office
Making people feel like they matter and that they are valued can have a huge effect on the general atmosphere of the office. But don’t wait for the manager or the CEO to do this. Studies have shown that the approval of one’s coworkers can be just as beneficial as praise from upper management.
Take the initiatives and dish out the compliments. If someone keeps fixing the office photocopier or someone has finally managed to stop smoking, let them know how well they’ve done. It doesn’t matter whether it’s personal or professional.
As you can see, spreading good cheer costs nothing. Choose someone every week (in your mind) and aim to perform a kind act for that person. Really spread the good cheer around. For example, one week you may decide to bring in muffins for everyone for no reason.
Sending an anonymous thank-you note to one of your coworkers is another fantastic option. Whatever you do, let people know how much of a great job they’re doing.
Related Article: Why Company Culture Matters More to Employee Than Pay
Do Your Job
Nothing creates a bad working environment like someone who isn’t doing their job correctly. There’s nothing worse than someone who takes all the credit or who insists on organizing the office party but can never bring themselves to actually file that report on time.
You may always complain and grumble that someone is lazy, but are you really putting your best foot forward as well?
Take a look in the mirror and consider your own work performance. Think about whether you are doing your best and whether you can do better. This isn’t about trying to outdo anyone. It’s about pulling your weight and leading by example. You will find that by doing so it will help pull everyone else along with you.
The Results Are Staggering
You’ll be shocked at how much of a difference these little changes can make. They cost nothing and they require no specialist skills, other than a desire to do better. You’ll notice these little changes in your office over time, and you’ll be glad that you decided to take the initiative.
How will you take care of your coworkers and make your office a better place to be today?