It’s amazing how young, fun, and hip ‘foosball-centred’ workplaces can turn into adult kindergarten, or be ratcheted up to the ferocious social pressure of a hellacious high school experience. Neither of these is particularly helpful to a company’s success or to boosting its bottom line. The key to improving coworker cooperation, as it turns out, is similar to parenting. It is up to the managers and owners to create a supportive and collaborative work environment where coworkers are expected to treat one another as adults and colleagues.
Hammer It Into the Culture
Creating and changing office or company culture comes down to soft and slow changes. It cannot be shifted by a wave of a magic wand overnight. It takes time to teach people that it is part of the actual fabric of the company culture and its values.
Humans of all ages respond positively to operant conditioning or rewards for doing a good job. This is no exception in the business workplace, teams that succeed in demonstrating your company values should be rewarded with anything from a morale-boosting pizza party to a week long trip to Hawaii.
Practice Solid Management Techniques for Better Participation
Conducting meetings is more than talking in front of the group, or letting the same loud mouths yammer on about the same topic. No, it’s the manager’s job to pull in everyone as a participant and to simply accept suggestions for how to handle a problem.
Avoid saying “good idea” because it implies that the rest of the ideas aren’t valuable. Be sure to use exercises that force the quiet and shy team members to answer, even if they never have to speak publicly. Try input that’s written on cards, for instance. Foster teamwork by learning some ice breakers, so that all of the team members see the humanity in one another.
It’s important to train people about collaboration as it is not a given in every person. It can be learned and if your team is not doing it, do not be an oppressive boss who lays everyone off only to start again. Nope, instead, realise you have the power to train the people to do what’s best for the company.
Start out by building coworker communication skills. Have managers train them, have them learn about various ways to improve communication and how communication works.
Organise after-work events to encourage people to socialise in a manner that gets them to know one another. Have the employees participating in team sports or other fun activities like rotating climbing walls in groups. This builds a sense of teamwork. There are bound to be conflicts as people communicate, this is healthy and normal. Acknowledge this and ensure your team knows matters as such will be dealt with fairly. If you shame it then the other employees will shun it instead of doing the healthy thing – embracing it.
Behind disagreements are solutions to problems must be aired out. If the sheets are never aired out, the dust never clears. Keep that in mind when operating a company.
Now, the key is to foster healthy communication. Focus on the matter at hand, be fact-based and allow people to discover solutions together. In that manner, the whole team will end up being a collaborative team member to help find a solution to the problem at hand.