In nearly ever workplace environment, there is probably at least one person none of the employees enjoy having to work with. Since we often spend more time with our co-workers than with our own families, the relationships we form with the people we work with have a huge influence in our productivity levels, the way we feel about our jobs, and the potential harm we cause our own jobs. It will also affect the way we communicate in the workplace.
Communication is the hub of a work environment. We need to talk, signal, and move in synch with each other to effective get the job done. Without proper communication, things get missed, forgotten, or done wrong. More importantly, improper communication can cause accidents and injuries. Consider a forklift operator who needs to rely on others for directions when removing a pallet on a high shelf. Misunderstandings or a lack of good communication just once can cause an entire pallet to drop to the ground.
Whatever the type of job you do, communication is likely a large part of it. If you do not like the people you work with or have resentments against others at work, not only does it make your day to day job completely unpleasant it also has potential for a hazardous job environment – or at least an ineffective one.
There may not be much you can do to improve your personal feelings for your co-workers but you may be able to at least resolve conflicts with the help of management. It is essential for you to put aside issues of a personal nature and focus only on what is required of you on the job. Don’t doubt for a second that your unwillingness to speak with a co-worker you don’t like personally has an impact on the health and safety of all people in the workplace. It truly does.
Speak with your HR representative about co-worker conflicts and see if there resources available that can help promote teamwork and better communication if management does not already offer such opportunities. A more effective workplace makes for a safer and happier week at work.