5 Ways to Create a Respectful SharePoint Work Environment

by , Posted June 16, 2013 - 4:13

The following Guest Post on SharePoint Careers is written by: Arlene Chandler on the subject that ties into SharePoint Roles and Responsibilities.

“Arlene Chandler is a freelance writer who loves to help make the workplace a better place to be. She often writes business, career, and insurance advice for AAMI Income Protection.”

A workcenter that manages SharePoint projects tends to have many different roles and personality types that collaborate on projects. The human element of SharePoint is often overlooked. Arlene’s points will help us all remember this critical aspect.

5 Ways to Create a Respectful Work Environment
There is more to being an employer than distributing responsibilities on SharePoint projects and keeping an eye on productivity, and part of creating a successful work environment is making sure your employees feel safe, comfortable, and respected while they’re at the workplace. Although it is true that most professional institutions generally don’t have too many issues, there are a few proactive measures you can take to ensure that the atmosphere you create is one that your employees feel content coming to.

Create an Open Door Policy
Letting your employees know that they can come to you with any issues they’re having in the workplace will help them know that their thoughts and feelings are valid, and having an open door policy is essential in maintaining a respectful environment; if your employees don’t feel comfortable talking to you about a coworker who talks down to them or a supervisor who gives harsh feedback, you’ll never get an idea of what really goes on, and in turn, the behavior won’t be addressed and modified.

Focus on the Problem, Not the Person
In the SharePoint industry, it’s inevitable that some work-related problems will arise, but how you handle those problems is how you’ll gradually shape your work environment. If you’re constantly looking for who to blame when a conflict occurs with solution deployments, project management, or deliverables, you’ll create an unhealthy workplace and your workers will not benefit; instead, shift your focus to finding solutions, and work with the individual on what actions they can take to improve their performance. Criticizing and finding fault is never the way to push efficient productivity, and you’ll have a far greater advantage dissolving dilemmas if you put your energy into fixing the problem rather than seeking out who to point fingers at.

Lead by Example
In order to really create a respectful work environment, it’s important to treat all your employees equally and hold them to the same standard. Avoid making exceptions for certain workers as the unbalanced dynamic will fill the rest of your staff with feelings of resentment, and be sure to address them in the same way you’d want them to reach out to each other. In other words, never nitpick any workplace issues publicly; if it’s important enough to approach, it’s important enough to hold a private meeting for. All in all, make sure that your employees feel that they’re being treated uniformly and fairly.

Discourage Workplace Bullying
As out of place as it may seem for bullying to occur in the workplace, it’s not as foreign as you might think, and according to several studies, workplace bullying can affect up to one third of individuals employed. Not every employee is going to feel comfortable bringing issues to your attention, so be observant in how your workers treat each other. Also, make it known that you won’t tolerate any form of oppressive behavior and be quick to enforce disciplinary action if you happen to see it occur. Provide adequate training for all supervisors and employees so that they know what type of behavior to report, and be sure that you make it clear what actions and behaviors are discouraged to avoid any confusion as to what’s appropriate and what’s not.

Reward Collaboration
Many employers tend to reward competitive efforts between employees, but too much rivalry can cause feelings of tension and bitterness in the workplace. While a healthy dose of competition can help drive productivity, balance it out by rewarding collaborative efforts as well. Creating incentives for those workers who go out of their way to help others who are struggling will inspire your staff to indulge in a more harmonious agenda.
A respectful work environment promotes better morale, increased productivity, and a healthier sense of well-being for your team, and as an employer, it’s your responsibility to make sure the workplace atmosphere is one that your team can thrive in. It’s not hard to do, and by opening up your door, focusing on solutions instead of blame, leading by example, establishing a zero-tolerance policy for bullying, and encouraging collaboration, you’ll create a backdrop where success and personal development can flourish.

Arlene Chandler is a freelance writer who loves to help make the workplace a better place to be. She often writes business, career, and insurance advice for AAMI Income Protection.


Photo Credit: ABDI Images (Feature Image)

Tmvogel (Article Image)

Post By Shadeed Eleazer (32 Posts)

Shadeed Eleazer is a Principal Consultant and founder of Managed Path Solutions, a Microsoft SharePoint post-deployment specialist firm. He is the President of the Baltimore SharePoint User Group. Tweet him @mrshadeed to discuss this article and other collaboration topics.

Website: → The Online Home of Shadeed Eleazer


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