While colleague romances may litter offices with disgruntled exes and unbearably cute sweethearts, hostility and dislike also leave the workplace reeling. Angry employees can waste time worrying over conflicts, and even lead to office violence.
John Challenger, chief executive of outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., offers the following tips on keeping the peace at work:
- Get together with co-workers outside the workplace. Fortifying an office bond with out-of-office activities helps build respect and strengthens relationships among office mates, said Challenger.
- Don’t embarrass or yell at colleagues in front of others. Make conflicts private.
- Allow employees to openly discuss issues in order to avoid pent-up resentment. Challenger suggests encouraging written complaints and suggestions and calling follow-up meetings to discuss grievances.
- Personalize work spaces with homey touches. A comfortable environment helps cut down on tension.
- Be civil to unlikeable co-workers and generally considerate in the workplace, especially in shared spaces.
- Actually use vacation days. Time away can help ease stress and inter-office tensions.
- Don’t gossip maliciously or “BCC” e-mails.
- Don’t steal credit from co-workers or miss deadlines. Respond promptly to e-mails and come prepared to meetings.