How to Get Along With Your Team

There’s no doubt about it, most workplaces will require you – at one time or another – to work with colleagues in some capacity. Whether this involves working on an office floor with 150 other fellow employees or working in a small business with two others, it is definitely a bonus to all involved if you and your colleagues get along!

If there’s one ‘weak’ link – somebody who isn’t getting along with everybody – it can negatively affect the rest of the team. This negative workplace culture results in poor workmanship, missed deadlines, lack of enthusiasm and morale, as well as a reduction in productivity. Employee turnover is higher, which restricts employee’s ability to bond with long-term colleagues. If there is conflict between even two people, this can create a negative ‘vibe’ that can affect fellow colleagues and even customers or clients. Conflict can also foster cliques within the group, leading to bullying in some cases.

On the other hand, if every member of the team is getting along and putting in their full share, productivity is increased, information is exchanged more freely, there is a greater sense of wellbeing and everybody benefits. The overall benefits are far reaching too, extending throughout the entire company or business. When people are working in a high-morale situation in which they care about the people they work with, they are always more productive, they achieve tasks quicker and they will go the extra mile – taking more responsibility and making better decisions.

So what can you do to ensure you get along with your team? Here are a few pointers:

Make teamwork a common aspect in the workplace – If something can be done in a group setting, do it in a group setting! You can’t expect people to work well in a team if they never have practice doing so. Similarly, it might be a good idea to ask management if they’d be willing to assess each individual’s contribution to teamwork in their ongoing review process.

Identify the problem – If a colleague seems to be having issues with you in particular, try to discover what the underlying issue is. Sometimes simply asking can be the first step in solving an issue, but it might also be a good idea to explore your own behaviour towards that particular colleague. You never know, there could be something that you are doing – or not doing – that is causing the conflict!

Don’t run to management – Let’s face it, you are an adult. Unless the situation involves bullying, misconduct or harassment, work it out like an adult would, without resorting to a complaint to management. Think about how you would react if someone complained about you before trying to work it out with you first – yep, you wouldn’t be too happy, would you? Moreover, you certainly wouldn’t feel more positive towards the person who ‘dobbed’ you in!

Ask for help – If you feel like an issue isn’t resolvable, perhaps seek help from somebody who can give you practical advice. If this is management or another colleague, there’s no need to name names. Just outline the situation and get a fresh perspective on how to deal with it.

Be nice first – If you make an effort to help others, they are more likely to help you out in the future. Don’t wait for a situation in which you are forced to help your colleagues – instead, ask the people around you if they need a hand with anything whenever you have a spare few minutes. Similarly, be kind to people. Occasionally ask your colleagues if they’d like anything from the coffee shop or compliment them on their work. It’s so simple and really increases positivity.

Highlight the benefits – This may sound silly, but simply explaining to your colleague why getting along would be a mutually beneficial step, you might find that they are very willing to comply. Explain the incentives for doing so too, such as recognition from management, possible promotion and general happiness.

Celebrate great teamwork – You could ask management to reward great teamwork, but you don’t necessarily need management to celebrate it if they won’t. If you’ve all been working well together, why not celebrate by going out for drinks on a Friday night, or a round of ten-pin bowling on the weekend? Every out-of-work activity you do as a group will strengthen bonds too, so it’s a complete win-win!


The CFS Team
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