We asked 25 property management and facility management professionals how they maintain harmony in their workplace and help their staff get along. Their answers are summarized and categorized below.
How can you implement any of these tips to get your own staff to work together more harmoniously?
What do you do to keep staff working well together? Leave your own tips in the comments below!
Open communication among staff and support
Open lines of communication are great between tenants and facility / property managers, but they’re also crucial between staff and managers.
Communicate effectively about everything, and about the issues, and do whatever you can to try to ensure a stress-free environment in which they can get all their jobs done.
Support your staff by swapping out workers who are getting frustrated with a task, and put someone else on it while the frustrated guy gets a chance to cool off or work on something else.
An anonymous comments box can work wonders too, as then staff can submit issues and complaints without fear of repercussions from other staff, and management and all workers can work to correct the issue together.
Listen to your staff and don’t ignore any issues
Listen to staff’s suggestions on how to handle a certain issue, no matter what level of worker they are. This makes them feel equal and respected, which helps prevent bitterness and keeps harmony possible.
When a problem does come up regarding workers, take care of it right away. It won’t resolve itself, and it’ll no doubt get worse with time, so a quick resolution is best.
Respect and appreciation
Some version of “respect” was actually the most common response, and that makes sense because showing respect to others goes a long way in keeping things civil and pleasant in any sort of environment.
Not only should management show respect to employees of all levels, but they should also insist that employees show respect to one another. This can alleviate tension between workers, and reduce both disagreements and perhaps even the occasional physical altercation.
And speaking of levels, treating low-ranking employees who do the non-glamorous work like you treat the higher-ranking employees will prevent bitterness and turnover. Don’t play favorites and let everyone know they are important to the functioning of the facility or property.
Show appreciation to your staff, too, with little surprises like free lunch or free coffee, or awards for certain accomplishments, whether it’s a work anniversary or when an employee goes above and beyond in their performance on the job.
The feedback on hanging out together outside of work was mixed, with five managers suggesting you organize it and two managers saying to definitely avoid it.
Those who suggested avoiding it said just to not force people to interact on their time off if they don’t want to, and that since people come from such different lives that getting them together outside of work can lead to disagreements. Understandably, if conversation turns from work chat to religion or politics at these get-togethers it could cause issues.
Most managers did say that, for them at least, getting workers together outside of normal work helps foster harmony within the workforce, whether it’s a monthly party or a Friday BBQ. Going out for a beer after the shift works well too, and if you as the manager comes along, they can realize that the boss is a real person with a soul, and you can build better relationships between workers and management.
Lead the troops
Be the peacemaker when necessary. Step in to squash any disagreements or issues that are bubbling up. Separate workers who don’t get along. Figure out how to incentivize cooperation among the staff, instead of trying to push each other down.
Lead with positive energy and a good attitude, and others will be infected by it. Even if you as the manager are having a lousy day, fake a smile and keep the front up, for the sake of your employees’ attitudes.
Resolve issues as soon as possible by listening to all sides of an argument. Often, it’s just miscommunication that causes a disagreement, so have a supervisor hear out each side and figure out what went wrong so that it can be corrected and everyone can get back on the same page.
Tie harmony to finances
A couple of managers said that they use financial reward and punishment to force harmony in the workplace.
One manager said that he has a “3 strike bonus program,” meaning that everyone is due a weekly bonus but if the worker has three strikes during the week, no bonus will be received. Since his workers have a financial incentive to avoid problems, they’re more likely to work things out on their own, and other workers are eager to help squash the issue together.
The other manager said he simply reminds people that they are there to work and make money, not to gossip or slack off, and that he’ll rearrange workers and move them to a new shift if they are troublesome.
Hire people who will fit the current culture
This can be difficult if you have trouble finding the right skill sets to hire, but whenever possible, having HR understand your current work environment and hire people who will fit the culture can help maintain cohesion and a pleasant work situation long term.
So those are the tips we got from our respondents. What do you do to promote harmony within your staff? Leave a comment below and let us know.
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