business.com receives compensation from some of the companies listed on this page. Advertising Disclosure

Home

True Team Spirit: How to Take Better Care of Your Co-Workers

Chad Brooks
Chad Brooks
Editor
business.com Staff
Updated Dec 22, 2021

Do you want your office life to be more pleasant? If so, give this article a read to find out how to take better care of your co-workers.

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 co-workers 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 co-workers won’t just increase your stock in the office, but 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 co-workers.

1. Start the day right.

How the day starts will determine how it continues. 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 help put them in a good mood. You’ll be surprised how much of a difference this little gesture can make.

Before you get right to work, invoke the art of small talk. Ask someone how the family is and what they did last night. Taking an interest in them makes them feel valued, even if the interaction only lasts a few seconds.

2. Ask them what they think.

The art of leadership says that you should make people feel like part of the overall process of what happens in the office. This goes for even the small decisions, like where everyone should go 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 top of the company to 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 take what they are saying to heart. This doesn’t mean you have to obey them each and every time; you may disagree with them. The important part is making it clear that you have seriously considered their ideas.

3. Deal with workplace conflict calmly.

When many employees 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 will sell each other down the river as soon as something bad happens.

The first step is to put a stop to nasty gossip straightaway. This is a form of workplace bullying. The Workplace Bullying Institute revealed that up to a third of all U.S. workers could be victims 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 co-worker sidles up to you with some juicy gossip, just reply with “really?” and then change the subject. This doesn’t have to be done in an arrogant or disdainful way. Sound like you have considered what they said and simply moved on. The worst thing you can do is continue the conversation by giving your opinion on the gossip. [Read related article: Types of Toxic Employees]

Now that you have dealt with potential workplace gossip, the next form of conflict comes 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.

In such a situation, pretend that your children (or parents) 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 getting heated and losing your head.

4. Spread positivity around the office.

Making people feel like they matter and are valued can have a huge effect on the general atmosphere of the office. Even if you’re just a worker bee, don’t wait for the manager or the CEO to do this. The approval of one’s co-workers can be just as beneficial as praise from upper management.

Take the initiative and dish out the compliments. It doesn’t matter whether it’s personal or professional: If someone keeps fixing the office photocopier or has finally managed to stop smoking, let them know how well they’ve done. 

As you can see, spreading good cheer costs nothing. Choose someone every week 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 co-workers is another fantastic option. Whatever you do, let people know what a great job they’re doing. [Read related article: Why Company Culture Matters More to Employees Than Pay]

5. Do your job well.

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 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 putting your own best foot forward?

Take a look in the mirror and consider your own work performance. Think about whether you are doing your best or could do better. This isn’t about trying to outdo anyone; it’s about pulling your weight and leading by example. You will find that this helps 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 require no specialist skills, just a desire to do better. You’ll notice these little changes in your office over time, and you’ll be glad you took the initiative.

How will you take care of your co-workers and make your office a better place to be today?

Image Credit:

NanoStockk / Getty Images

Chad Brooks
Chad Brooks
business.com Staff
Chad Brooks is a writer and editor with more than 20 years of media of experience. He has been with Business News Daily and business.com for the past decade, having written and edited content focused specifically on small businesses and entrepreneurship. Chad spearheads coverage of small business communication services, including business phone systems, video conferencing services and conference call solutions. His work has appeared on The Huffington Post, CNBC.com, FoxBusiness.com, Live Science, IT Tech News Daily, Tech News Daily, Security News Daily and Laptop Mag. Chad's first book, How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business, was published in 2014.