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8 Great Ways to Ease Tension in the Work Place

by Nov 3, 2016Leadership and Management

Sean Hopwood
MBA President and Founder at Day Translations, Inc.

It’s never easy to work comfortably in an office where the air is filled with tension day in and day out. A situation like this leads to low productivity and economic loss, which affects not only the employer, but the employees as well. When tension in the office is rife, it leads to absenteeism and indirectly increases the costs paid by the company for workers’ compensation and health insurance. It is the employer’s role to ease tension at work by understanding what causes the condition and developing some outlets so that stress is relieved.

Not all tension is bad, however. It can also be neutral, or even positive. Even if two people disagree, it could be caused by a difference of opinion, nothing more. However, when tension is left unresolved and allowed to develop, the previously neutral tension cam become something negative and harmful. When tension escalates to this level, almost everyone in the office suffers.

Here are some ideas on how to ease tension in the work place:

1. Establish Clear Rules and Policies

Tension in the work place is more likely to increase in organizations without clear rules and policies. There are people who believe that conditions in the work place trigger stress, while others argue that tension usually originates from an individual who is unable to cope with stressful situations. People who study stress in the work place agree that if formal regulations and written rules are firmly in place, clear standards are provided for employees to follow. These regulations can help defuse stress and tension inside the office. Consistent and fair enforcement of written rules helps ease tension, even among employees who are less capable of handling stressful and tension-filled situations.

2. Hold Regular Meetings

Normally, tension and conflict arise from misunderstandings, rumors and misconceptions about new operations or programs. In order to diffuse this issue, keep all employees informed about new projects or company directions through regular meetings. Staff reductions, layoffs, or introduction of productivity tools creates fear in your office staff. If you have regular meetings, your team will be up to date on the economic status of your company, and give staff members time to plan, should there be employee reductions, merging, or closing of other branches or departments.

Allow an open forum to be held during meetings so that employees can present their concerns, ask questions and clarify company policies. See to it that company officials are involved in these meetings to show their involvement in the employees’ wellbeing.

3. Handle Complaints Formally

Your company should have a formal process to handle complaints regarding issues in the work place, as this minimizes tension. When the process is formal and a resolution is expected within a specific time line, employees are not bound to think of partiality and favoritism. Work directly with a professional organization or union in your company if it exists, in defusing common problems. Tackle issues that employees deem important, even if you think that the complaints are low in importance according to your perception.

4. Offer Open Channels of Communication

Tension in the work place often escalates because of lack of open means of communication. When this happens, the uncertainty that employees feel increases, as they are unable to deal with changes or reorganization. Written processes and face-to-face meetings are good communication channels to establish, so that tension between managements and workers is reduced.

5. Provide Training

You can also provide instructions in stress-reducing activities, self-help training in anger management and low-cost or free seminars to help develop interpersonal relationships in the work place. Another method is to offer tips for establishing workweek planning and sensible work habits.

6. Talk to Each Concerned Party

It’s better to address conflicts in the work place quickly. Discuss the issue with the involved parties and emphasize to them the need to address the tension immediately. As the head of the department or a senior officer of the company, your job is to be the mediator. Talk to each party separately so you can gain a clear view of the conflict. Discuss what specific events or facts led to the tension, together with other emotional information. Keep in mind that there are three sides to a conflict, the side of each party -and the truth.

7. Discuss the Conflict with All Parties

Once you have gathered all the facts, get the two or all parties involved and permit them to share their own version of what happened. It is a way of bringing to light other facts or issues that the other party might not know of.

8. Find a Common Ground

It’s important that you find a common ground to forge a more solid relationship among the people involved. Find a creative compromise that includes the needs and limits of all parties concerned. The compromise should benefit each party equally to enable them to accept the condition and at the same time encourage them to work together. This may not happen overnight since the tension normally includes emotional involvement.

Tension in the work place is inevitable. However, there are things that a business manager or owner can do to minimize or curtail the chance of tension and conflict from occurring. If you can create an environment where the employees feel that they are a part of the company’s bigger plans and they believe in the company and its owner’s vision, they will feel happier.

Management can also institute an open-door policy or have a suggestion box where employees can air their grievances anonymously. There is no other way to resolve work place tension than to face it. It may be uncomfortable but it is better than allowing the tension to fester, as it will become very dangerous to the business as a whole.

Sean Hopwood
MBA President and Founder at Day Translations, Inc.

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2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Hi Sean, very good approach, this is not only applicable to the work place but to our family relationship and so on.

    God bless you,

    Milder Mendoza from Nicaragua.

    Reply
  2. Avatar

    Gandhian TALISMAN AS GUIDELINES FOR DECISION TAKING

    Talisman of GANDHI FATHER OF the NATION INDIA as written by him in 1947 for Decision taking by all Resourceful PERSONS Corporates, NGO, BANKS & Parliament of India for upliftment of their Souls and Natural justice.
    WHENEVER You are having A NUMBER OF OPTIONS before You and unable to decide the Right Path Think of the weakest poorest person and think which path is going to help him the most and You will be able to choose the Right Path.
    Alas under influence of Pseudodevelopment Materialism Consumerism and Nehruvian path being different than Gandhian path we had ignored the same for decision taking by Financing policies of our Banks and other decisions of Parliament of India.
    Gandhiji further said on 15.8.1947 Freedom not yet received. We had never tried after 1947 for Freedom of his Dreams Empowered Partyless Panchayat with Right to Elect Leaders / Servants of India Elections of Nil Expenditure.
    May be he was able to guess the path of our leaders after freedom as being influenced by western culture ignoring his book of 1909-32 HIND SWARAJ.
    His Book of 1909 – 32 #MKGHINDSWARAJ Ignored Under INVASION of CAPITALISM PSEUDO DEVELOPMENT #CONSUMERISM Implemented via monpolistic BANKING Policies Financing Materialism vs financing production by Human Skills Work for All.
    GANDHIJI was able to foresee the side effects of this industrialisation as explained in Book of 1909-32 #mkghindswaraj by GREEDY TOP vs pyramidal form of power top drawing power from base. But in present system even father son duo are not accomodated in system for power game.
    So he resigned Congress in 1934 but sacrificed his life for nation till 1948 when he was fed up of NEHRUVIAN POLICIES and wanted to die due to BLOODSHED of Partition and Division of India.
    This fact is well explained in his message just less than 20 Hours before his death as per back cover of Book ASSASSINATION OF GANDHI FACTS VS FALSEHOOD.& Ignored even in Museums & Exhibitions.
    INDIAN Legal System is Same AS BEFORE 1947.
    Patriots Come Forward and think for NATION otherwise you will not have any time to REPENT for Global peace. Gandhiji was a Global Man and had not written HINDSWARAJ 4India only. Avoid Wastage of National Funds in Elections Media Leg pulling avoid in national interest. Burning foreign currency as fuel of vehicles vs swawalamban.
    FOLLOW #MKGHINDSWARAJ BE UNITED VS BEING DIVIDED ON LINES OF SEX REGION RELIGION PARTY WISE FOR VESTED #CONSUMERISM RESOURCES IN FEW HANDS.
    Gandhian Education system based on training of skills to next Generations to make them swawlamban is Missing we are unable to have Yoga in MBBS Education for Medical Practitioners going to take care of health of 125 crore citizens. Our Health care is capital intensive for few peoples. Why Cooking Education is missing in Schools to promote marketing of Junked food Pizza Burger Chips via marketing by Railways vs fresh home nutritious food. Media ignores information about his Economic Policies and Book Hind Swaraj from masses even on the date of his Birth and 30th January.
    Shri RAJIV DIXIT ji Contributed a lot for National interest but ignored by MEDIA TV CHANNELS & BHARAT SWABHIMAN TRUST OF SWAMI RAMDEV JI AASTHA & DISHA & Other Religious TV Channels.

    GANDHIAN ELECTION SYSTEM IN BRIEF (SYNOPSIS)
    •WE / MASSES SHOULD KNOW THEIR CANDIDATES / PROSPECTIVE LEADERS / SERVANTS OF INDIA PERSONALLY BY DEEDS VS SPEECH ONLY. THEY SHOULD BE WELL INFORMED OF THEIR ACTIONS THEIR ASSETS SOURCE OF INCOME WHICH IS POSSIBLE IF CONSTITUENCIES ARE TOO SMALL AND 5 PANCH + 2 REP FOR COORDINATION WITOUR H OTHER PANCHAYAT FOR SUBJECTS OF MUTAL INTEREST BE ELECTED.
    •DECENTRALISATION SYSTEM OF DEMOCRACY REPRESENTATIVES DRAWING AUTHORITY FOR DOING ANY THING FROM HIS ELECTORATE MASSES.
    •PARTYLESS DEMOCRACY OF GANDHIAN DREAMS WITH NIL EXPENDITURE OF GOVT PARTY AND CANDIDATES IN ELECTIONS.
    •7 REP TO BE ELECTED FOR SAY 3000 SUCH SMALL CONSTITUENCIES OF DELHI – EMPOWERED PANCHAYAT FOR DUTY TO DO WORK OF CORPORATION, JUDICIAL INVESTIGAATION AND RIGHT TO ELECT 70 + 7 MLA AND PARLIAMENT.
    •1 VOTE = OF THESE 7 REP VALUED = NO OF VOTES RECEIVED BY THEM IN ELECTIONS OF PANCHAYAT / MOHALLA SABHA / SAKHA TOLLI IN PRESENCE OF REP OF ELECTION COMMISSION.
    •IF THE NUMBER OF CANDIDATES INTERESTED TO CONTEST IN PANCHAYAT ELECTION IS MORE THAN 30-50 THEN TWO TIER VOTING IS POSSIBLE FIRST ALL CANDIDATES CONTESTING AND TOP 15-20 CANDIDATES AGAIN CONTESTING FOR ELECTION OF 7 REP.
    •INDIA AS A POOR COUNTRY CANNOT AFFORD TO WASTE HUGE EXPENDITURE FOR ELECTING CORPORATION MLA / MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT REP – WHO ARE UNABLE TO TAKE ANY RESPONSIBILITY VS NEGOTIATING WITH MULTINATIONS FOR DOING BUSINESS IN INDIA TO USE OUR MASSES TO BE SOLD AS CONSUMER ONLY.
    •THE CANDIDATES CONTESTING SHOULD BE TEE TOTALLERS WHO CAN SPARE THEIR AT LEAST 10 HOURS DAILY FOR SERVICE TO HUMANITY AND THEIR FELLOW BEING.
    •THEY SHOULD BE REASONABLY PAID REMUNERATION FOR THEIR BASIC NEEDS AS PER MINIMUM WAGES ACT APPLICABLE FOR UNSKILLED LABOUR. THEY SHOULD BE WILLING TO WORK FOR THEIR OWN AREA AND /OR NATION SELFLESSLY WITHOUT ANY PROFIT MOTIVE.
    •THEY SHOULD BE CONFIDENT ENOUGH TO BE ABLE TO EARN THEIR LIVELIHOOD EVEN IF THEY ARE NOT ELECTED BY MASSES.
    •THERE CAN BE A RESTRICTION FOR MAXIMUM WEALTH OWNED BY THEM IN THE NAME OF THEIR FAMILY OR THEMSELVES.
    •THEY SHOULD BE ABLE TO MOTIVATE RESOURCEFUL PERSONS / CORPORATES TO WORK / CONTRIBUTE IN LIGHT OF TALISMAN OF GANDHI SELFLESSLY.
    •BEING WELL INFORMED ABOUT GROUND REALITY OF TRUTH AND FACTS THEY SHOULD BE ABLE TO INFORM COURTS FOR THE SAME SO THAT THEY CAN TAKE RIGHT DECISION VS BEING DEPENDENT ON WITNESSES PURCHASED BY MONEY POWER OR INFLUENCE OF CHAIR

    Reply

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