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How to create a harmonious workplace

The idea of a happy workplace doesn’t have to be pie-in-the-sky, but in far too many cases, small issues can create big problems. Taking action in advance, and having strategies in place to address issues, can help you create a harmonious workplace.

The most important step is to create and maintain a culture of openness in your organisation. If the members of your team feel comfortable and able to express themselves, they’ll be likely to work well together. By showing that you respect your team, you’ll encourage them to respect themselves and each other.

When considering how to create a harmonious workplace, be sure that you set the right example for your team. Employees look to their employers for guidance not just in how they carry out their work, but in how they behave in the workplace. You’re the figurehead of your business, so make sure you show your team what you expect from them.

It can help to write down the essential ground rules which you feel exemplify the principles of your organisation. These need to be clear, rooted in common sense, and written in plain English. There’s no room for jargon here. These principles aren’t just a mantra to be learned by rote and trotted out in happy-clappy team-building exercises; they’re a part of your company’s identity, and everyone should understand how these guiding tenets relate to the everyday execution of their duties. As with all rules, regulations and guidelines, the principles you ask your team to recognise should be relevant to them.

The idea of creating a harmonious workplace doesn’t mean that conflict must be avoided at all costs – it’s an inevitable part of working life. If every potential disagreement is met with forced smiles and a determination to get along, though, it just forces conflict underground, creating festering resentment between your staff. Over time, this will undermine the atmosphere you’re trying to create, making your staff feel that they can’t express their views, and leading to all kinds of problems in the running of your business. The key is to address conflict positively. Discuss the reasons for it – it might be uncomfortable, but getting things out in the open is the only way to proceed, and the solutions are always worth it.

A zero tolerance approach to fruitless negativity is always a good thing to aim for if you want to create a harmonious workplace. You spend a huge amount of time at work; shouldn’t that time be pleasant? Backbiting, sarcastic nitpicking and moaning don’t have a place in a happy work environment; they’re just drains on your attention, your time and your energy. Train yourself not to be drawn in by them, and you’ll encourage your team to become more positive too.

It goes without saying, of course, that workplace bullying or discrimination is never acceptable, and must be dealt with swiftly and decisively. If you suspect any kind of bullying is going on at your workplace, address it immediately. Again, a culture of openness will encourage team members to raise any concerns with you – you can’t monitor every interaction between your employees, so it’s essential that they feel they can come to you if they feel something’s amiss.

You could be a small independent shop, or a corporate multinational, but the ways to create a harmonious workplace are universal. With the right mindset, and the right procedures to back it up, every workplace can be a happy and productive one.

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