Increasing employee engagement in the workplace is about more than hanging out by the water cooler and free cake on birthdays. In today’s technological industry, positive relationships among co-workers, colleagues and customers can mean the difference between success and failure. When considering the variety of personalities and culture in your environment, remember to respect differences. You may need to contemplate some traits that have nothing to do with work.
Familial Environments ~ Things going on at home don’t have to be bad or stressful. It’s easy and obvious to know that someone going through a divorce may be distracted at work, but the truth is, everything at home has some impact on how we interact at the office. Not only familial relationships, but responsibilities within the home, parenting and intimacy trials and triumphs add a heavy weight to whatever burdens we’re already carrying in our careers.
Class & Upbringing ~ Economics, etiquette and even being raised as an only child or among a large family, all effect how individuals relate to everyone around them, not just in the workplace. Just a momentary pause to wonder about the source of a co-worker’s ideals or habits can go a long way to understanding and cooperation.
Subtle experiences as we grow up, teach us successful and less fruitful ways to deal with others. However, we’ve also been conditioned by parents, teachers and other role models and those lessons stay with us as we create an identity in adulthood.
Professional Perspective ~ Everyone has a path that they’ve taken, bringing them to the point where they’re working on a certain project, with a certain group of peers. Each of those paths vary and ultimately guide each set of boots as they move forward. How might your journey in your career differ and compare to someone you’re working with? Observe the individuals you get along with well and those with whom you seem to lock horns. Consider everyone’s trek up the professional ladder and how it may explain their interaction with others.
Education vs. Experience ~ The argument on the value of experience versus education is long and strong on both sides. Rather than taking a stance, simply make a mental note as to the different personalities you’re working with and whether or not they come from an institutional setting or years of observation. The answer will likely provide some insight on their point of view and the best way to resolve conflicts.
Industry Roles ~ Depending on one’s title and responsibilities, their priorities and pressures may differ from yours, as well as all the other interested parties in whatever goals you are all pursuing together. Varying perspectives widen even further when you consider each player’s part in the long list of roles in the companies involved. Added to these variations are long-term goals and commitments made to themselves and their superiors.
Every one of these points has one thing in common. They all center around knowing your peers and considering their place, their perspective and most of all, remembering there is so much about them you do not know. Contact us for more on creating an engaging environment for your team.