Maintaining Peace and Harmony at the Workplace

office-conflictBy: Nkiru Uzoh

The workplace is an environment where we spend most of our waking hours. It is also an environment laden with different people from different backgrounds and with different personalities. However, regardless of origin or background, each individual is connected to the other by some common goals which are the organisational goals and objectives.

It is only natural that disagreements will occasionally arise at the workplace. It could be as a result of differences in opinions and ideas, working patterns etc. Whatever the cause, individual differences are bound to occur.

The issue is not the presence of these differences; rather it is in their resolution. It is highly imperative that peace and harmony be maintained at the workplace. It guarantees a relaxed atmosphere which in turn ensures greater productivity. Peace can be defined in various ways: as the absence of war and other hostilities; freedom from quarrels and disagreements; harmonious relations etc. Harmony is an agreement in feeling and opinion.

How then do we ensure a constant agreement and absence of quarrels among people with individual differences? The answer is simple; Keep the organisational goals in mind.

When we realise that the organisation depends on our various inputs to succeed, then we should be even more aware of the need to leave behind our problems, bias and prejudice before commencing work. The goals of the organisation should be our watchword. It should be a constant reminder of why we are at the workplace. It should and must supersede any desire to always be right in the event of any disagreement.  It was Stephen C. Paul who said and I quote ‘’everything you do can be done better from a place of relaxation.’ It is so apt and need not be emphasized.

We must therefore strive at all costs to ensure that the workplace reigns with an atmosphere of peace. A peaceful and harmonious atmosphere does not mean failure to perform one’s duties all in a bid to avoid discord. No. Peace and harmony at the workplace simply request that all employees irrespective of position or level perform their functions and responsibilities with the highest possible standards while avoiding strife and rancour as much as possible. Avoid such topics as politics and religion which have been known to contribute their quota in workplace conflicts.

Every employee should do a critical self assessment in the area of personal interests and ensure that loopholes do not exist. Where there are opposing interests  between the individual goals of the employee and those of the organisation, nothing but strife will emerge. This is especially when the individual decides to pursue his / her own career goals without regard to those of the organisation. Other factors which could contribute immensely to discord and strife at the workplace are differing values, personality conflicts, poor communication and personal problems.

Improved tolerance levels; effective communication skills; and demarcation between personal life and life at the workplace; are some of the steps which can be taken in a bid to ensure that peace and harmony reign at the workplace.

I will end with a quote by Martin Luther King Jr.. ‘Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive we arrive at that goal.’

You desire increased productivity, then seek peace by all means.

 

 

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