What are retailers missing about building a workplace culture?
Presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article published with permission from Knowledge@Wharton, the online research and business analysis journal of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
One of the big challenges in the business world today is developing a collaborative and productive workplace culture that can boost performance. Organizations are beginning to discover that interpersonal relationships are key to a harmonious office where employees feel good about each other and their work.
Todd Davis, chief people officer for FranklinCovey and the author of “Get Better: Fifteen Proven Practices to Build Effective Relationships at Work,” recently shared some insights on the Knowledge@Wharton show on SiriusXM on creating a kinder, gentler office where conflict-resolution is constructive and peaceful.
“I have found that there is certainly the notion that we’ve got to have the right people on the buses, the right talent,” said Mr. Davis. “But it’s the nature of the relationships between those people that really creates a team’s or an organization’s or a company’s competitive advantage.”
Often spending more time with co-workers than their families, employees can face mental health issues due to poor co-worker relationships. But such relationships can also impede progress.
In his book, Mr. Davis, for example, describes the “pinball syndrome,” in which employees brainstorm and work intensely together, but it doesn’t feed results. He said, “I recommend on a weekly basis to outline and say, ‘Wait a minute, where am I really spending my time? And am I spending it on things that are important or simply things that are urgent. Have I confused urgency with importance? Am I trying to be everything to everybody, and in the end accomplishing nothing?’”
Some employees see things in different ways and it takes an extra step to consider another’s perspective. Said Mr. Davis, “When I stop and take time to consider the other’s perspective and think about their world, their goals and their struggles, boy does it get us on playing ground where we can really start to solve problems or take advantage of opportunities together.”
For human resource departments, his advice is become intricately involved in the business, including attending sales meetings, marketing events and other “front line” activities. “Be completely involved in what your business is all about,” he said.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What advice would you have for improving relationships and fostering better collaboration in corporate offices and on store selling floors? What are some essential steps to resolving workplace conflicts?