If Everyone Could Just Get Along

A challenge I often see, and sometimes deal with, in many repair shops, is that of employees not getting along as well as they might. Employee grumpiness takes many forms, yet usually stems from only a handful of causes. I go back to the six things that Tony Robbins suggests every person needs in their life: Consistency, Inconsistency, Connectedness, Significance, Growth and Contribution. In my experience grumpy employees stems from one or more of these things missing. If you can identify the root cause of the grumpiness you stand a chance of doing something about it. Yes, sometimes it’s just that the person is grumpy and you’re not going to fix that. Most of the time though, consistency, significance, or connectedness is missing. Occasionally it’s a growth issue, but not often. Everyone likes to know what to expect whether it be a consistent schedule, paycheck, quality part, or someone else contributing to the overall cause. When consistency is missing we get nervous. The anxiety created by the lack of consistency manifests itself in the “fight or flight” response wired deeply in our brains. Provide consistency, and the response is gone! If we don’t feel like we are significant to an organization or within a given environment, sometimes we will try to sabotage the situation to make ourselves feel, or appear more significant, often while trying to make someone else feel less significant. If this is the challenge, there are many ways of creating significance for any given employee. It could be the words you use when communicating, a special project assigned just to them, or even something as simple as recognition of a job well done. When connectedness is missing is may look similar to a lack of significance. Usually, in my experience, if connectedness is missing the employee just won’t engage anything, or anyone at work. Others take this as that person not being a “team player”, being anti-social, or just not fitting in. They may stop trying to engage, include, or converse with that person. The root cause can stem from personality, previous life experience, or sometimes a lack of confidence. Again something as simple as recognition of a job well done can make the situation better. Team building events (outings, barbecues, holiday gatherings, etc.) can help. Often just time will take care of connectedness challenges as long as the situation isn’t flat out ignored. Not everyone will get along all of the time, but paying attention to what gives everyone security and connectedness can help with many employee challenges.

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