Likeability in the Workplace

It goes without saying that most people want to work with people they actually like.

Ever had the misery of working with a poisonous coworker? Sure you did. And it stinks, doesn’t it?

Multiply that impact if you’re a small business or a small team.

It goes without saying that if teams enjoy each other (i.e., actually like being around each other and have some level of “fun”), they’ll be more productive, efficient and … happy.

Sure, we’ve got to be professionals … we’ve got to function and perform to the duties we agree to when we took a position. But face it …. we spend the bulk of our lives with our coworkers.

And I firmly believe that you should enjoy those you work with … while being involved in passionate work.

Those are two parts of the equation I’ve personally found for my own workplace satisfaction. If one is lacking, the other will invariably suffer.

As a boss, I’ve tried to find and recruit the right people. (I keep a running list of potential people with associated roles that we may need in the near future; but most are just great people I’ve met who I would love to find places for in our company — it’s one of the most enjoyable parts of running a business for me.) Then as we get closer to hiring someone, I’ve tried to get time for our team members to interact with them and give their feedback to me about them. (After all, they have to work with them too!)

We’re a small business. We’re a small team. And that means we’re extremely dependent on each person contributing to the business, which means that each person has to be a good fit inside the existing team we have. If one component of the process doesn’t work efficiently, it disrupts the whole system. And in business, there’s a small margin for error.

Skill, talent, experience, drive and attitude are key to me of course. But meshing with our culture, vision and unique perspective of how we do things is also absolutely vital.

In fact, I’d much rather have someone on our team with a great attitude and teachable spirit who’s a relative rookie than one who is so skilled at what they do that their ego can’t fit in meetings.

But I’ve learned that it’s a delicate balance … it’s not a “once size fits all” approach. Yes, certain qualities of assessment don’t change. But everybody’s different, and in the end, you’ve got to make the best, most informed and fair decision you can that you believe is in the best interest of your business and team.

… what a challenge.

1 Comment

  1. I can’t agree with you more.

    Having worked for and run my own businesses this is just to true. One of the companies I tried to help out at was a nightmare, no one was happy there and the environment you worked in was less than adequate.

    Working with the people I currently work with makes me want to get to the office and slog away way over working hours, by choice.

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