Picture this – As a business owner, you have a great project going on, an awesome team, and everything looks set to be completed in time, smoothly. There’s just a tiny hitch – the project’s technical head and the delivery manager don’t really get along well. On your part, you see it as an inevitable workplace trade-off and dismiss it. Over the span of the next few weeks, their ‘clash of personalities’ gets so bitter that the entire project team is divided it two halves, taking sides, and spending more of their time pulling the other down instead of working together to see the project through. As a result, the timeline is missed, you get a stern warning from your client, and your business’ market reputation takes a serious hit.
Now, think hard and analyze if there was anything you could have done to salvage the situation in time? The answer lies in workplace harmony. If you would have been a true leader, picked up the warning signs, and did everything in your capacity to create a harmonized, happy workplace, you could have turned things around, for sure.
For leaders, start-up entrepreneurs, and business owners, here are four practical tips to create workplace harmony:
#1 Leave no room for ego: When you leave your ego at the door, you foster the ability to look beyond the obvious and predefined notions to see the raw connections. It is these connections that help people bond, communicate better, and collaborate constructively.
#2 Observe keenly and appreciate freely: When you appreciate someone in their personal or professional capacity, it reinforces the ‘you matter to the company’ feeling significantly. These may sound like mere everyday phrases but saying ‘Thank you’ or ‘Great job’ or other such appreciate words is a powerful way to create harmony at work and in life. Notice the little things that people often do when they are happy – an employee might go the extra mile to help with an urgent project, the spouse may wake up early to treat you to hot piping breakfast and coffee, etc. Don’t ever forget to express gratitude for all these little gestures, no matter how busy you may be.
#3 Avoid gossip like its plague: Gossip can be a real killer of harmony –at the workplace as well as in personal life. Establish a ‘no-gossip’ open culture and make people follow it whether they are in office or outside – on a team lunch, office party, etc. An open culture thrives on two-way communication, so make yourself and other management members available to staff at all times. Encourage people to freely discuss ideas, resentments, frustrations, as well as fears. This has two advantages – it nips problems right in the bud and helps build trust – one of the key factors that breed harmony.
#4 Go all in – with confidence as well as vulnerabilities: When you get into a project (or even a personal relationship), be hands-on i.e. put your heart and soul 100% into the moment. Such kind of raw, wholehearted passion is contagious and you will soon see your team liven up with enthusiasm and energy. There may be situations where you may not know what the next best action is – don’t be afraid to expose your vulnerable side in such times. But don’t be afraid to delegate, and when you trust your employees and give them the free to express their ideas, and see how collective team effort can help shape things far better than one-sided effort can.
Henry Ford once famously remarked: “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”
What are your tips to create a harmony at work? Do share in the comments below.