On average, employees spend a total of 90,360 hours of their lives working. That’s a lot of time! If there is disharmony among team members in the workplace, a 40-hour work week can feel like a lifetime. Friction between employees can lead to low morale, diminished productivity and unprofessional behavior. Fortunately, even though there are many different personalities and attitudes within spa and salon environments, harmony can be achieved when leadership makes intentional efforts to accomplish it. Follow the five rules of thumb to maintain a harmonious work environment. I believe they can help you do so, as well.
“There is a social need within our lives as human beings to have harmony.” -Cat Stevens
1. Mind Your Manners.
There is a lot to be said about the “golden rule.” Treating co-workers and employees the way we would like to be treated seems like a no-brainer. However, when comfort with each other settles in, efforts to perform simple acts of kindness and thoughtfulness sometimes go by the wayside. Small gestures such as a genuine “thank you” and verbally recognizing a team member for a job well done can make a big difference in morale. It’s also essential to avoid getting caught up in gossip and other negativity that can tear down trust and self-confidence.
2. Maintain a Team Culture.
Establishing a company culture that supports teamwork and collaboration is a prerequisite for workplace harmony. Realize that a team-oriented organization begins with its leaders. Owners and managers must set an example by demonstrating a willingness to step outside of their regular duties and pitch in when their employees need them. Yes, it may demand some extra time, but the positive outcomes far outweigh the effort.
3. Have an Open Door Policy.
Sometimes, all it takes is a listening ear to help team members work through challenges. When leaders encourage open communication, they can help prevent problems from escalating and causing frustration in the workplace. Open communication leads to transparency and strengthens relationships. My office door is rarely shut, and our team members know they can come to me with anything—good or bad. There is no judgment, only listening.
4. Cultivate Autonomy.
Everyone likes to be heard and feel empowered. By keeping team members informed and inviting their input and creativity, it enables them to take ownership of their roles and see how their contributions affect the business. One way to nurture autonomy and accountability is to hold regular meetings to update employees and ask for their opinions and ideas. The more opportunities team members have to understand the business, the more likely they will be to use their talents to support company growth, perhaps even aspiring to become leaders themselves.
5. Remember to Laugh.
Life is too short not to enjoy the journey. Laugh, smile and nurture a playful spirit in the workplace. Sure, there will always be occasions that call for seriousness; however, recognize the positive power of a lighthearted demeanor. We gauge our team's morale by listening for laughter, looking for easy-going smiles and asking employees how they are doing and feeling. Playfulness helps take the edge off of the frustration brought on by stressful deadlines and heavy workloads.
Harmony Equals Growth
With harmony in the workplace, team members can learn and grow. They will not only feel appreciated but also appreciate each other. The five tips I mentioned have helped our team work more purposefully and productively together. I hope that they will serve as guideposts for your company, too, as you strive to nurture an environment of collaboration and cooperation.