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How to Advocate More Cooperation in the Workplace

February 14, 2014

cooperationDo you feel like you’re babysitting your employees rather than working alongside them to reach your business goals? One of the most beneficial yet bothersome realities of the workplace is competitive and challenging personalities of your workers. Especially in small, growing businesses, employees are often motivated to reach high goals and promotions. With many less employees than a large corporation, small business owners tend to choose workers who are multi-talented and can handle several roles in the company, resulting in a strong necessity of inter-employee cooperation.

With a small clique of businessmen and women constantly working together, arguments and competition can easily arise. Though competition is a positive necessity to grow a company, resentment and bitterness can quickly result in negativity. As a manager or a business owner, it is your job to make sure these tensions do not overtake your business. But how can you consistently worry about inter-employee relationships with all of the other responsibilities that you have?

Here are some practical and creative ways that will help subside negative feelings and behavior between your employees:

  • Make sure you are encouraging and rewarding your employees fairly. Some of your employees can handle more responsibilities than others, but all should be rewarded regardless. Invest in spending time with your employees, like taking them to lunch or giving them small gifts regularly. If everyone is rewarded the same, then hard feelings among employees usually dies down.
  • Do not play favorites. If you prefer one employee over another for any reason other than the ability of that employee to fulfill a responsibility, other workers notice and react with jealousy. If you find yourself spending more energy on one single employee, try to distance yourself for a day or two and visit with your other workers.
  • Offer to swap a task with them for a week. Give your employees a fair chance to try something different and challenging. Take on their own tasks to, firstly, prove that you understand what you assign them to do, and also to allow them a change of scenery. Taking an employee off of a project for a week allows the other workers a change of scenery also.

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