Did you ever hear the expression, ‘you could cut the atmosphere with a knife’? There appears to be an increasing trend in business and in life to blame and attack other people. Low morale and bad attitudes can create a toxic environment in the office leading to loss of sales and low customer satisfaction and a lack of forward momentum in the business.

A nasty or negative atmosphere between staff within your business can start as something between two people, be the result of uncertain business conditions or many other factors, but soon can permeate through the office and even expand to reach your customers and potential customers.

So has this happened to you? And what can you do about it?

  1. Create clear and manageable targets
    • By creating and communicating clear target which team members can actually achieve, there will be a sense of achievement and enthusiasm for the work at hand.
  2. Introduce incentives to motivate the team where they are lacking
    • Why not introduce a gym membership or other incentives. A healthy team are a happy team.
  3. Office ‘forums’ should be a staple of the business day
    • Kept short and sweet (we recommend no more than 20 minutes), office forums are the ideal place to air ideas, update teams and get everyone working together. Best at the beginning or end of the day
  4. Foster trust
    • Genuinely listening to your colleagues is the best way to ensure trust
    • Follow through on your promises
    • Always offer help if you can
  5. Fair access to management
    • Operate an open door policy on specific days at each level of management so that the team members know that they can approach their manager at fixed times
    • Ensure that all staff know how to escalate an issue if there is a problem between them and their direct manager
  6. Play teacher
    • When there is a poor relationship between two members of staff which is affecting their output and which is noticeable by other members of the team, it is time to step in. No matter how conflict adverse you may be its time to step up and tell your team or colleagues to get on or keep their opinions to themselves.
  7. Get rid of the poison pills
    • Sometimes in life there are some individuals who, however you may try to motivate or encourage them, will never be satisfied. Listen hard, but if their grievances are not ‘real’ then its time for them to seek their Nirvana elsewhere. Wish them luck offer them a reference and you can all move on.
  8. Bye Bye Bullies
    • A zero tolerance policy towards work place bullies has has two fold benefit, firstly it gives team members being bullied the courage to come forward if they do suffer and it also discourages bullying in the first place.

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