There’s a saying that goes you don’t have to be friends with those you work with, but research shows that workplace friendships increase job satisfaction by a whopping 50 percent. Furthermore, employees with a close friend at work are seven times more engaged than those who do not have good friends on the job, according to a recent Gallup poll. Ignoring any tendencies toward introversion, it would appear, can go a long way toward making you a happier person!
Preventing Drama in the Workplace
Unfortunately, for every positive relationship in the workplace, there’s a negative one looming. And that can have the opposite effect on overall job satisfaction.
Think about it: most of us spend more time at work than at home, at least in terms of waking hours. When there is drama in the workplace, it affects our productivity, engagement, and work-life satisfaction and is detrimental to employers, who risk losing top talent because of dissatisfaction over petty matters.
In order to help prevent drama in the workplace, we suggest the following tips:
- Have those tough conversations. Humans naturally seek to avoid conflict, but letting situations fester only causes harm in the long run. Employees won’t be able to change their behavior if they are unaware that it’s an issue, so don’t put off discussing sensitive issues such as poor work performance, inappropriate humor, bad habits, unpleasant body odor and lack of respect for personal boundaries. As hard as that conversation may seem, you’ll be doing the other person a favor.
- Establish appropriate boundaries. When it comes to respecting the needs of others, some people are simply clueless. They might constantly interrupt others who are speaking, invade their personal space, or complain incessantly. Taking this person aside and setting appropriate boundaries will ensure everybody is able to get their work done, nobody feels uncomfortable or threatened, and reduce negativity in the workplace.
- Don’t enable your employees. It’s tempting to step in and help somebody out when we see they are floundering, but rescuing your employees when they are having difficulty prevents them from learning from their mistakes and growing. The best thing you can do is nothing! Step back and let that person figure out on their own how to resolve a tricky issue. If you find yourself constantly accepting excuses for poor behavior, it’s time to get tough. Schedule a meeting to discuss consequences for continued underperformance – and follow through!
- Take responsibility for your own actions. You can’t control others, but you can take charge of how you handle adversity in the workplace. Waiting for somebody else to change their behavior is an exercise in futility. Instead, change your reaction to that behavior and you’ll be far happier.