A workplace can feel like a larger classroom with employees for students. Though as grown adults, your employees’ maturity levels are far higher than actual students; even so, they’re not at all immune to drama. Rivalries, politics, and gossips can be prevalent in the office too. And when the HR doesn’t do anything about it, your company culture may get ruined, and you’d soon experience high employee turnover rates.
Hence, it’s crucial to consider every applicant’s values, work ethics, and general behavior before hiring them. But that’s actually tricky because you can’t get to know someone well enough from just a couple of tests and interviews. You’ll only see their true colors once you expose them to your team, another reason hiring is a gamble.
That said, the best strategy for maintaining a harmonious workplace culture is actively monitoring your employees’ etiquette. In small acts such as keeping their phones in silent mode, greeting other employees every morning, and following dress codes, you’d be able to see how they respect their jobs and organization, and if they’d fit in with your team.
Re-learning Proper Work Etiquette
After some time, your team will become comfortable in your workplace. They’d let their guard down and start treating each other like family instead of just co-workers. While that’s a good sign for HR, a close relationship may also breed exclusivity, especially if there’s a new hire in your team, or if someone got promoted.
To avoid office politics resulting from exclusivity, observe if your employees are practicing the following:
- Greeting each other with a smile. A simple “good morning” or “hello” with a smile shows friendliness and a welcoming attitude toward new hires.
- Making conversations. Your team should be comfortable starting and joining conversations. If you have a new hire, their teammates should strike up a conversation with them to make them feel included in the organization.
- Leaving their personal problems out of work. Everybody is fighting their own battles, but during work hours, your team’s battles should only be ones related to their jobs. It is unprofessional to mix personal issues and professional life.
- Being mindful of others. Small acts of kindness such as holding the elevator doors open for someone, and saying “excuse me”, “thank you”, and “please” go a long way. It shows that your team is respectful and works well with others.
- Keeping their workspace clean. A clutter-free workspace shows that your employees respect their jobs, and are organized. While mess is inevitable at times, your employees should know what is placed where, so that important material will never go missing.
- Keeping everyone in the loop. When communicating through emails, teams should always include their managers or department heads. It is unethical to exclude or bypass bosses.
- Owning their mistakes. Workplace politics can start with one person blaming someone else for their own mistakes. So when conflicts arise, hear out the whole story, and have the involved parties speak face-to-face.
When these behaviors and acts are promoted in your workplace, everyone will feel valued, appreciated, and involved. There might be no such thing as a perfect organization, but it only takes kindness to prevent disputes or misunderstandings that may lead to conflicts.
Besides a good attitude, discipline is also crucial in every organization. Every employee should be aware that their seemingly harmless acts can have long-term consequences. By implementing the policies below, proper decorum will be established:
- Dress codes. Consider giving out uniforms to avoid dress-code-related conflicts. Online uniform management systems can help you organize your employees’ sizes, names, etc., eliminating the need for endless paperwork.
- No tardiness. Habitual late arrivals should be penalized.
- No eating in the workstations. You should have a pantry where everyone can have meals or take breaks.
Remember, it only takes one apple to sour the whole barrel, so if someone in your team refuses to follow policies or show kindness, have a talk with them immediately. By ensuring that each of your employees has proper conduct and ethics, your company culture will stay unharmed.