ASK ALAN: Is Tension In The Workplace Hurting Business?
As the leader of your business, are you feeling tension? Is there tension among your employees? Believe me, plenty of tension can be found in the workplace today given our current COVID-19 environment.
Tension can keep customers away
If there’s tension in the workplace it needs to be identified and resolved. If it’s not, it will be difficult for your business to attract and retain customers. When tension is present people are ornery, argumentative, short, and unhelpful. People do not like or want to interact with others dealing with tension … not prospects, not customers, not vendors, nor employees.
Begin to mitigate tension
Before tension can be treated and properly mitigated it must be identified. Like any competent doctor — look for symptoms. They must be diagnosed and then treated accordingly. A few types of tension in the workplace include:
– Generational diversity
– Crisis Management
Organizations have cultures — the civilizations we work in. Some are well thought through and kept current while others simply happen by default. Many business cultures suffer from being out of alignment. This occurs when leaders’ actions and behaviors are inconsistent with the “purpose” of the organization. An example of this is when a leader “talks-the-talk” but does not “walk-the-walk.” This is like an accident waiting for a place to happen.
Another relevant example has to do with employees working from home because of the current pandemic. The root of their tension, claim many employees, is not being given information about the length of time they may be operating remotely. Some people tell me they would have less anxiety if they were given outside dates in the future; even if those dates were changed as new information becomes available. Without that, they feel left hanging, endlessly!
Dr. Terri Manning, Ed, former CEO for the Center for Applied Research at Central Piedmont Community College says:
“For the first time in modern history, we have four unique generations competing in the workplace simultaneously. All four are competing for jobs, promotions, and technology. All believing that they are right, and others are wrong.”
Understanding how to diffuse this kind of tension is the first step toward enabling businesses to be more effective.
Get rid of the tensions in your workplace. Provide a culture that improves the productivity of your employees. And stop keeping customers away!