Office relationships often set the tone for the office environment. Offices shouldn’t be like families, but employees should be friendly and enjoy each other’s company. Spending 40 hours or more each week in an unhealthy place will make workers less productive and want to leave. Building good rapport between staff will encourage employee retention and make your business run smoothly.

Here are some tips.

Celebrate teamwork

Build collaboration among employees by rewarding teamwork. Avoid having competitions that put staff against each other. You may need office hierarchies for organization, but make sure that all employees at all levels get respect.

Encourage knowledge sharing

Provide training opportunities for your entire team that benefit your office. Maybe it’s learning how to use a software program more effectively or teaching better customer skills. People that learn together grow together.

Spend time together without work

You have to balance this carefully, because you don’t want teambuilding to turn into a chore. Have lunch together once a month to celebrate birthdays. Volunteer together one afternoon at a local food bank instead of work. Give opportunities for your team to connect outside of the office, but make sure that you remain professional.

Provide conflict resolution tools

Office conflict is inevitable. How you handle conflict will determine the outcome. Have a system in place that outlines how conflict is dealt with in your office. Talk about differences among your team. Don’t let drama rule your office.

Encourage professional development

Even if you don’t have many opportunities to allow employees upward mobility, you can still support their career by sending them to conferences that will boost their skills. Help your staff find community mentors who will demonstrate leadership.

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