Mounting evidence suggests that the workplace environment has a direct effect on the performance of your employees. Many different factors can affect your team’s morale, so it’s important to know how to manage the aspects that are within your control.

One of the most common issues a company can run into is managing different personalities in the workplace. Regular Leaders in Heels Contributor, Ros Cardinal, shares 8 tips to managing workplace personalities, including ones that clash!

Consider How a Positive Environment Affects Your Employees

Both the environment and social relationships in the workplace have a huge impact on employee performance. A happy, positive work environment encourages your workers to be patient and collaborative. Clashing personalities, however, can cause an array of problems that range from failing to meet daily goals, to improper behaviour by one or more team members.

So, how can you manage different personalities in your team?

Always remember that each person is unique, so they may have different perceptions than you do. However, the main goal is to remain impartial and learn how to effectively manage different personalities in the workplace.


Remind Everyone You’re a Team!

A lot of your employees see their peers as potential competition. Eradicate this mentality by reminding everyone you’re a team. You can even design a group commission system that urges your employees to collaborate regularly.


Encourage Open Communication

Not only should you tell your team to communicate, but you should also give them the tools they need to do so. Deploying a chat platform and an internal knowledge base can help them open better communication lines and build a collection of resources at the same time.


Hold Weekly Group Meetings and Private Sessions

You should carry out group meetings and individual sessions with each team member in order to get to know your workforce as a whole. The group meetings will give you ideas on the tools they need. Individual sessions, on the other hand, will help you understand the isolated challenges you can help your employees tackle.


Establish Ground Rules

The first step is to establish ground rules about acceptable behaviour. Chances are you already have guidelines in place, so just give your team a refresher course. Make sure you focus on the way team members interact with each other and provide tips on how to report inappropriate occurrences.


Cut Down Gossiping Whenever You Can

Gossiping is an inevitable part of any office environment. Instead of feeding or ignoring it altogether, take every opportunity to cut down any claims. Remind coworkers that it’s unprofessional in a non-threatening way and encourage them to focus on productivity rather than rumours.


Treat Everyone Equally

As a supervisor or manager, it’s hard not to create different perceptions of your employees. But, treating two people differently can quickly add fuel to the fire. Make sure you treat all your employees equally and avoid playing favourites to maintain a calm atmosphere.


Don’t Play the Blame Game

If you are forced to intervene directly, always remember to stay neutral and avoid playing the blame game. This will help you stay objective and prevent your employees from feeling alienated.


Define Responsibilities Early On

Defining responsibilities early on can help prevent clashes while allowing your employees to focus on what they are good at. Just remember that some responsibilities are shared, so you should find a way to monitor that each employee is collaborating accordingly.

Managing your human capital may be tricky, but it’s one of the best ways to improve your team’s performance across the board. The tips above will allow you to manage clashing personalities in the workplace and create a positive work environment for your team members.

About the author, Ros Cardinal

Rosalind Cardinal is the Principal Consultant of Shaping Change, a Hobart based consultancy, specialising in improving business outcomes by developing individuals, teams and organisations. Hobart, Tasmania.

Some call them Generation Y, Echo Boomers or the Net Generation; they are the latest generation to join the workforce and have been raised and educated in a world filled with technology. Rosalind Cardinal educated us in her article, Attracting and keeping Generation Y in your business, on how to attract and keep these millennials in your business.

Here are several informative tips on how to work with these individuals in a distributed team; these tips are highly effective in bringing out the best qualities in millennial individuals:

1. Use the technology

For millennials, having an online meeting or chatting is very common and an easy way for them to communicate with others. They are early adopters of technology, so explore the possibilities that technology can provide for the workplace and let them guide you through new and uncertain opportunities; they probably know more than you do.

2. Offer leadership

Like all who join the workforce, they require guidance, especially if we are talking about virtual work relations. Provide these millennials with daily feedback; they are used to constant updates and news. Provide them with the guidance they need and you will have them more motivated and involved.

3. Work in teams

Millennials are accustomed to working on school projects in teams from a very young age; take advantage of that and show them work opportunities from a perspective of teamwork; they will find more meaning in their work this way. Also, offer millennials the possibility to work with teams; they will be able to effectively divide up the tasks themselves. Remember that these millennials have more practice in this area than earlier generations and they truly believe in teamwork.

There are plenty of team management software options that will allow you to create projects where your team can login and see how their goals are being achieved. These programs are a great way for you and your team to monitor progress as well as keep millennials challenged.

4. Take advantage of their electronic literacy

Maybe it is more difficult for you to think outside the box; if this is the case give them the freedom to communicate using the channels and methods they believe are the best and follow up on them. Encouraging a positive and trustful attitude in the workplace will bring success for you and your company, so empower them.

5. Create clear procedures

Try to imagine what millennials’ former school days looked like; most likely strict schedules organised by their parents. They are used to having their days seamlessly programmed and they feel comfortable with that; create weekly/monthly reports, due dates, meetings on certain dates, gatherings with agendas, and minutes. However, don’t limit all of their independence; make sure you take the time to listen to them and hear their opinions before making a schedule.

6. Provide a fun workplace

For millennials, work is not merely a task that must be completed; it is also something that they can find enjoyment from and they expect to form friendships at the workplace. Make your virtual team an employee-centered place with regular yet fun-filled meetings where they have the opportunity to inform others about their interests, have online tournaments, online parties, seasonal celebrations, etc.

Whatever you decide, keep in mind that millennials have used technology from a very young age so they feel quite comfortable holding online meetings, texting, and marking their progress on computers. My advice to you is: listen to them, learn from them and their ways of working, and give them plenty of room to grow and make changes as they adjust to a new workplace, especially if it is online.

Do you have more advice? What have your experiences been so far? Share them in the comments below.

Photo credit: Merlijn Hoek/Flickr