February 9, 2020 Last updated March 9th, 2020 1,866 Reads share

Cooperation and Compatibility at Work: 10 Surefire Tips for Improving Work Relationships

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It is easy to think that cooperation and compatibility among employees and employers at work are constant elements. They will definitely get along with one another. After all, they all want the best for the business.

Isn’t that so?

However, we must acknowledge the fact that often, relationships in the workplace are plagued by friction. Sometimes, employees feel unrecognized, while others think that the boss is friendlier to other employees. Occasionally, some just want to get their tasks done and go home.

The essence of this post is to, therefore, consider how to improve cooperation and compatibility at work. These tips will definitely come in handy as far as fostering association and team spirit is concerned. Also, both employers and employees can apply them.

Let’s dive in!

Avoid Cliques And Factions

It goes without saying that belonging to one clique or the other at work, whether as a boss or an employee, does not favor the work environment. Factually, 13% of bosses have stated that cliques adversely affect work.

Factions silently creep into workplaces because humans naturally drift towards persons who share common interests and similar philosophies. Also, in the bid to build a relationship with new employees, the old ones might feel neglected.

Downplaying the prevalence of factions at workplaces and their effects mean absolute danger. The survey referenced above indicates that 43% of workers reported that their offices have cliques, while 11% of them indicated that such cliques seemed dreadful to them.

Factions and disunity are inseparable companions. Where you find one, you find the other.

Therefore, to improve cooperation and compatibility at places of work, the responsibility is upon both employees and managers. They all have to balance their association so that no one feels alienated. If you find yourself relating more or better with a particular group than with some others, then you need to retrace your steps.

Give Praises And Speak Positively

Literally one of the most underrated tips on boosting team spirit and smooth relationships at work, praises and positive words work wonders.

Kind words to and about co-workers and employees have their way of dispelling dark clouds and sating the environment with super-necessary positive energy. Additionally, it is wise to avoid gossip. If you must say a thing about a co-worker, say good things.

Mind you, somehow, the word always gets around about who said what.

To further boost cooperation and compatibility, it is necessary to give praise at work. According to Gallup’s research, not feeling appreciated and the lack of recognition is a leading reason why employees leave their jobs.

Both employees and employers should generously hand out praises and show recognition where they are well-deserved. Surveys show that recognition from fellow workers, in fact, has a much better impact than recognition from just the boss.

Instances of the best ways to give praises and show recognition include:

  • Public awards and certificates
  • Private recognition from the manager, co-workers, clients, and customers
  • Impressive public reviews
  • Money and gifts
  • Promotion at work

Generally, positive words and recognition lift moods and serve to improve the quality of cooperation and compatibility at places of work.

Eliminate Unhealthy Competition

While businesses benefit tremendously from employees striving to do their best and outperform one another, the pattern could bring devastating repercussions.

Regardless of how much progress employees want to make in their jobs, it is worth a mention that the world does not revolve around their ambitions. No matter how hard we try, there might always be that one person who generates more leads, makes greater conversions and sets amazing records.

That doesn’t take anything away from us. We are all gifted differently. Unhealthy competition is a fertile ground for jealousy and all-round bitterness.

Furthermore, it should be understood that the common goal is to move the business forward. Employers should keep this in mind when they create policies.

The ultimate irony, as revealed by the Harvard Business Review, is that dire policies usually result in unhealthy competitive patterns. The policies should be gentle and encourage optimum performance.

Unhealthy competitive behavior is mirrored in actions such as:

  • Maliciously highlighting a co-worker’s errors
  • Withholding relevant information
  • Misleading co-workers
  • Backbiting and taking credit for the efforts of another
  • Downplaying the importance of a co-worker’s accomplishments

While setting goals and working towards targets, both employees and managers should be mindful of the effects. If the promotion of “self” appears more important than growing the business, then something is amiss.

Encourage Direct Communication

Without proper communication, all efforts to grow cooperation and compatibility among employees and managers at places of work will prove abortive.

The essence of unfettered communication is demonstrated in the following facts:

  • It helps employees truly understand the company’s goals
  • Through it, employees cultivate a deep sense of belonging
  • Effective communication gives companies a higher chance to retain quality employees
  • It fosters alignment and engages workers
  • Businesses with remarkable communication tend to have lower employee turnover.
  • Proper communication begets clear directions

Employees should feel free to discuss with one another. If they need guidance, they shouldn’t be scared to ask. They should also politely and honestly express their thoughts without any form of timidity.

This will eventually smoothen out any creases in the fabric of relationships at the office.

A survey shows that the absence of such candid communication dampens the morale of workers.

More importantly, managers and bosses should quit hiding behind cabinets. They should have a good communication pattern with the employees. While this seems an easy feat, a study indicates that almost 70% of managers find it distressing to engage with their employees.

As if that isn’t unfortunate enough, the same study reveals that almost 60% of employees report that they receive fuzzy orders. Isn’t that just sad? Proper communication ensures that directions are accurately given and thoroughly understood.

Improve the cooperation and compatibility by introducing a policy of clear communication in the place of work.

Identify And Tackle Issues Maturely

Offices are filled with people from different backgrounds and with varying perspectives on life. It is only natural that, now and then, people will rub one another up the wrong way. It might be a joke that struck a wrong note, or an employee’s facial expression whenever he’s talking to you (really surprising what people find annoying at work).

What gives?

Do you go crying to the boss? Would you rather slug it out with your co-worker?

Actually, there are much better ways to handle such matters.

The first step is to examine yourself. Run a check on your behavior towards others and the signals you exude. Yup! Signals play a huge role.

Humans can say a lot without saying anything.

Be certain that you are not oozing an unfriendly or exceedingly competitive aura. A candid assessment might reveal that you are actually at fault. If that is the case, then you can easily clamp down on the problem.

Next, you should take steps to cordially sort it out with your workmates. Don’t go reporting to the boss whenever your feathers get ruffled a bit. Nothing destroys chances of cooperation and compatibility in a place of work more than crybabies.

Politely reach out to your co-worker (or even the boss…yes, I said it!) when the day’s work is done. Divulge your thoughts and feelings without making any accusations. Let them know that you would like to work better with them.

Ask them also what they think it is you are doing wrong so that you can make positive changes. Tackling these issues head-on has its way of bringing an air of friendship into the office. You’ll be happy with the outcome, trust me.

Reporting to higher authority should come as the last resort. Therefore, if you have done your utter best to resolve disputes between you and a colleague, but the latter is still being mean, please say a word to the boss.

Insist On Cooperation

The easiest way to boost cooperation and encourage compatibility among employees at places of work is by making it compulsory.

Managers and employers have the task of informing employees at the moment of employment that teamwork is a core value. They should also stress that it is an element of performance assessment.

Statistics indicate that great teamwork motivates employees to remain in a place of work, yet barely 20% of employers talk about cooperation when assessing performance.

Once the system demands teamwork from employees, the latter will be inclined to work together with their mates.

Incentives Help

Another powerful tip for boosting cooperation and fostering compatibility at work is to create incentives for increased alignment and productivity. These incentives serve to promote teamwork because the employees will be driven by the reward lying in wait for them.

Actually, both employees and managers can create incentives for teamwork and a smooth work relationship. Employees can create incentives by informing their co-workers about the benefits there are if they worked better as a team.

The benefits might include:

  • Extra support
  • Improved results
  • Recognition
  • A more agreeable work environment

Knowing that one can gain from a good relationship with a fellow worker is enough to encourage cooperation.

The organization could also introduce an incentive scheme. Such a program is targeted at rewarding the employees for remarkable accomplishments. It will spur the employees to collaborate all the more and work better at their jobs.

These incentive schemes have been reported to help companies achieve almost an 80% success rate while boosting the performance of employees by about 44%.

Go figure!

Lend a Hand

The law of reciprocity fills the office with the climate of support.

How exactly does it work?

Simply, if you help people first, they’ll be obliged to assist you in return. This encourages the attitude of supporting one another at work. This practice has also proven to eliminate traits of unfriendliness.

Helping a co-worker out when they seem to be struggling with a task shows that you are sensitive to the needs of your mates. If there was a rift between a co-worker and yourself, showing up and helping out when they are in need is sure to draw a smile and kickstart friendship anew.

While you shouldn’t be a total busybody, when you have a spare minute on your hands, ask your workmates if they need help. If there are new employees, guide them through a task or two. Engage in other kind acts and watch cooperation and compatibility bloom at the place of work.

Celebrate Accomplishments

Every business should imbibe the tradition of celebration. Professionalism doesn’t discourage the recognition of efforts, neither does such recognition turn the office into a playhouse.

Actually, a culture of celebration cultivates a sturdy sense of community amongst employees. With it comes the desire to set differences and distractions aside and strive unanimously to propel the business forward.

The ultimate outcome is an optimized engagement and collaboration among workmates. Did you know disengaged employees could cost businesses over $450 billion annually? That’s huge!

Some things that are worth celebrating at work include:

  • Remarkable teamwork
  • Common goals
  • New milestones

Show your workers that you keep track of the journey.

Friendship And Empathy Are Golden

In my opinion, the surest way to foster cooperation and compatibility at work is by encouraging friendship among employees.

Let’s face it. The four walls of an office could be intimidating. Also, the fact that the majority of these workers don’t really know one another could hinder the smooth flow of work. A study indicated that loneliness at work has a major influence on the performance of employees.

Furthermore, it can’t be gainsaid that in present times, close friendship at work is a dying tradition.

As a boss or even an employee, it is smart to spend some time with co-workers away from the beehive. Go out for a bite after work hours and relate with them as a regular fellow and friend – not as a superior.

Conversing in such a relaxed atmosphere will make them let their guard down and communicate honestly. During such interactions, you might even find out that you have a number of things in common (you guys enjoy the same shows, sporting activities, intercontinental dishes, etc).

Loose conversations often lead to tight friendships. 

The connection will encourage employees to put in their best instead of just doing the barest minimum which is the case with workers without friends.

A related tip is to be understanding. Empathy and compassion help people get along with one another.

Some of the workers might be unfriendly because they feel inferior. Maybe, they feel they don’t measure up, or an occasional poor performance might have left them doubtful of their abilities. Reach out to them, hear them out and offer to assist them.

Remind them that it isn’t the end of the world and that they can do much better. Humans are emotional beings and we generally appreciate uplifting moves.

Final Words

There you have it! These tips are sure to bump up cooperation and compatibility among employers and employees at work.

Have you ever experienced any form of incompatibility at your place of work? What steps did you take for the greater good? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Also, you are welcome to share this post.

happy office – DepositPhotos

Bright Ewuru

Bright Ewuru

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