Office Conflicts Bringing Business Down?

March 22, 2012

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Does it sometimes feel that you spend more time dealing with office-related conflicts than you do on your work? Perhaps you’ve recently been involved in a merger, and now consolidated employees are eyeballing each other across partitioned rooms.

You may be turning a blind eye hoping it will go away, but what starts as a “minor skirmish” can escalate into serious employee dissatisfaction and falling productivity. It’s akin to a virus, worming its way from one employee to the next, until the whole office suffers under the crushing weight of negativity.

As outlined in an article by Entrepeneur. com, “U.S. employees spend 2.8 hours per week dealing with conflict. This amounts to approximately $359 billion in paid hours or the equivalent of 385 million working days. That’s a lot of time spent gossiping, protecting turf, retaliating, recruiting people to one side or the other, planning defenses and navigating the drama. More importantly, that’s time not spent answering customer questions, filling orders or doing the job employees were hired to do.”

You’ve identified the problem, so now what?

Here’s something that can help, Team Building! Team building focuses on developing effective group dynamics by bringing people together to accomplish a common goal. It produces a sense of camaraderie and bonding that no amount of office parties or “the boss addressing the troops” could ever hope of accomplishing.

Team building is customized for every group’s individual needs, and has two basic categories. The first is a fun, effective and lively way for groups to get to know each other. A team building staff member facilitates a group through engaging and challenging problem solving or adventure activities that are designed to stimulate the sharing of thoughts, ideas and interpersonal connections.

The second is a skills building program that focuses on teaching tangible skills that have lasting effects in enhancing the group’s dynamics and performance, and addresses five key concepts that act as a framework for understanding and applying these skills: effective communication; systemic approach to solving problems; making decisions by consensus; goal setting; and trust.

Sounds like just what your employees need. Great! So where can an organization obtain a quality team building experience?

The TEAM Works department of YMCA Trout Lodge located in Potosi, Missouri excels at all phases of team building exercises. TEAM Works’ skilled professionals engage your employees through hands-on practical experiences designed to facilitate effective group dynamics. These programs may involve spending the day performing team building exercises, or can encompass a retreat-style several day span.  Trout Lodge is located in Missouri’s Eastern Ozarks and situated on a 360-acre lake surrounded by 5,200 acres of forestcovered hills. Lake activities, trap and skeet, high adventure activities, and sunlit meeting spaces help to re-energize your team, while neighboring attractions like the Fourche’ Valley Golf Course, Edg-Clif Winery, and Sayersbrook Bison Ranch also add to the list of relaxing benefits.

The YMCA of Greater St. Louis also has a TEAM Works division and can deliver a customized team building program to your location. And because the Y is a not-for-profit organization, your business helps to support the Y’s mission, to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.

Here’s a response from the St. Louis CARSTAR Business Group after a session with TEAM Works: “You (TEAM Works) accomplished more for my team in 4 hours than I could have accomplished in 1 year because your methods revealed underlying issues that you then were able to bring up to the group in a safe and nonthreatening way. If I had tried to address these issues, even recognizing how carefully it must be handled, it would have been perceived quite differently. And who knows what the results would have been.”

Team building sessions are an investment in your employees above and beyond a paycheck and standard benefits. However, when compared to the loss of revenue and productivity when deficient behavior continues unchecked and unaddressed, the positive outcome that team building can effect in the lives of your employees is but a drop in the corporate bucket. When your company suffers, so does everyone involved. When your employees are happy, productive and motivated, your company reaps the rewards!

For more information on any team building experiences by YMCA Trout Lodge and TEAM Works, please call (314) 241-9622 or (573) 438-2154, or visit our website at www.troutlodge.org. YMCA Trout Lodge is a branch of YMCA of Greater St. Louis. MM&E

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