The effect of colleagues on business results

Julia van Ramshorst
The effect of colleagues on business results

Colleagues have a big effect on the final business results. A working atmosphere where everyone treats each other with respect contributes to high productivity. A vibe where colleagues are dead set against each other and fight for the best spot leads to just the opposite. In this blog, you'll read about the effect colleagues have on each other, where it can take your company and how you can manage it. One thing is certain: a positive and equal working atmosphere is one of the keys to success. 

The effect of colleagues leading to negative results 

We beginnen met een stukje bewustwording: welk gedrag leidt tot slechte bedrijfsresultaten en moeten we zo snel mogelijk verbannen? Sommige zaken zijn vanzelfsprekend. Maar in deze paragraaf lees je in detail hoe het werkt. Wellicht herken je gedrag en wist je van te voren niet dat het onder dit fenomeen viel.

Does it work or not? 

As an employer or manager, you want your team to click. Of course, not everyone gets along equally well. In nature, we prefer to avoid people with whom we do not match. Unfortunately, you cannot run away from this in the workplace. As an employee, you are often assigned a position. This place is determined by your employer. So, it can happen that you are sitting next to someone with whom you do not get well at all - and who even gives you bad energy. 

As a manager, you obviously cannot know this in advance. It is a question of measuring whether your employees reinforce each other or make each other worse. Suppose you put two stubborn types next to each other. Will they clash? Or will they reinforce each other? It is also important to know what life values your employees have. Is one of them more interested in quality and the other in quantity? That can also clash. Make sure you have good people skills and know your employees. 

Sexual harassment 

Sexual harassment in the workplace involves one person making sexual advances towards another person, while that person is not amused. It can involve verbal and physical as well as mental and non-verbal behaviour. As an employer, you are officially obliged to punish sexual harassment in the workplace. 

Victims of sexual harassment in the workplace may suffer from both psychological and physical complaints. Subsequently, victims develop a negative feeling about their self-esteem and well-being. This can cause employees to become stressed and to call in sick excessively. Once it becomes known among employees that sexual harassment has been carried out by one of their colleagues, an unsafe and negative working atmosphere can develop. Employees no longer feel at home and no longer trust their colleagues. Finally, this makes working together more difficult and employees enjoy going to work less. 

Discrimination

Just as in society, there is discrimination in the workplace based on origin, religion, gender, and sexual orientation. Discrimination is expressed by making jokes, giving 'rotten jobs', ignoring and treating others inferiorly and even in non-equal employment rights. These labour rights include differences in income, tasks, working hours, and use of facilities. 

The result of discrimination in the workplace is that employees actually feel inferior. It becomes more difficult to work together and the employee becomes less motivated. Of course, it can also take a turn for the worse: an employee no longer puts up with it, stands up for himself with good reason, becomes angry, and eventually even aggressive. These kinds of situations create an unsafe and unpleasant working atmosphere. This working atmosphere then leads to poor operating results. 

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Bedrijfsresultaten

Bullying 

The preceding subjects all fall under the heading of bullying. But bullying in the workplace is so bad that extra attention is paid to it. Research shows that 1 in 10 employees are victims of bullying in the workplace - both on the factory floor and from behind a desk (IPSOS, 2017). Nationwide, the figure is 500,000. Age does not play a role either: as many 18- to 35-year-old as 50-year-old reported being bullied. 

The consequences of bullying are severe and very costly. In the short term, bullying causes employees to call in sick more often. Research shows that among bullied employees, more than 4 million more days of absence are taken. Another consequence, which is a step worse, is that employees resign. Research shows that 69% of employees would quit if they were bullied in a structured way. This often happens out of sheer desperation. Employees are then so mentally exhausted that finding a new job becomes a difficult task. They then sit at home and get into financial and mental trouble. In the worst case, workplace bullying can even lead to suicide. Research shows that 200 suicides a year are the result of this. As an employer, you don't want this on your conscience. 

How can you prevent it? 

As an employer or manager, you do not always realise that sexual harassment, discrimination, or bullying are taking place in the workplace. Nevertheless, it is important that you, as an employer, notice this and do something about it as soon as possible. First of all, let your employees know that you are there for them, regardless of whether they are being discriminated against, bullied or harassed. This way, you open the door and make it easier for your employees to report it. Then tell everyone that if they feel someone is being harassed, they should report it. You don't have eyes in the front and the back of your head. Finally, punish the culprit. Do this rigorously. An official warning is in order. Even firing an employee, in this case, is legal. 

It is important to combat sexual harassment, discrimination, and bullying in the workplace. Besides the negative effect on the employee's well-being, it also has a negative effect on the company's results. Employees who are bullied are less motivated and perform poorly. In addition, bullying on the shop floor worsens the image of your company. If employees tell others what happens on the shop floor within your company, and these stories spread, your company will have a different image than you would actually like. 

Collegial behaviour that takes your company to a higher level 

What behaviour does lead to good business results? In this section, you will discover the behaviours that will take your business to the next level. 

Equal rights 

Treat every employee with the same rights, regardless of position. Try to avoid the conservative hierarchy as much as possible and give everyone the same right to express their opinion. This way, every employee gets the feeling that he or she is allowed to be there and that is important enough. 

Open and transparent communication 

As a manager, communicate openly and transparently with your employees. Don't keep anything hidden. This will avoid suspicion in your team. Everyone has the right to know how the company is doing. Your employees may even be able to help solve the problem. In addition, be honest with your team in a respectful way. This way, your employees get the idea that respectful honesty is important and they are more likely to be respectfully honest with you and their colleagues. 

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Open en transparant communiceren op kantoor

Place value on team building 

Go out with the entire team at least once every quarter. Go somewhere for dinner, follow an interesting course or go to an amusement park. This way you increase the chance of a strong bond between employees. Employees who make friends with each other are the happiest employees. In addition, with a team outing, you give your employees the feeling that you consider them important. After all, you spend time and money on them. The office space also has a great effect on teamwork

Take communication courses 

Communication is the key to successful interaction between colleagues. The way something is said has a big effect on the way it comes across - regardless of the message. No matter how bad a message is, if you know how to package it well, it will not be a problem for the other person to receive it. 

Make sure that employees, and you as a manager, use the 'hamburger technique' when giving feedback. When giving feedback, start with something positive, followed by constructive criticism. Then close with something positive. No matter how little time you have, or how forced it feels: it helps. The other person will be a lot more motivated and happier than when you blindly say what you think.