A team is only as great as the sum of its parts, or so the saying goes. For those wondering, this means that you can have a fantastic set of individuals who are meant to be part of a team and working together, but if somebody is not pulling their weight, the whole side can fall apart.
Reasons for this are plentiful, and each cause has its own roots, but when left undetected, these kinds of problems that individuals are struggling with can have a huge effect on team performance if not dealt with effectively.
This is why efforts to instil a great team-working ethic can pay such dividends: if the employer can sufficiently motivate everybody to work together and take on equal responsibility for a project, the team can go on to have great success and all perform as big assets to a business.
This positive type of culture also tends to have affirmative spin-offs, in that positive behaviour tends to elicit a similar kind of response. If the team see good examples being set, they are more likely to follow them, and if everyone is on the same page, you have a better chance of performing well as a whole.
On the flip side, if one person introduces a negative atmosphere into the working environment, it can have a cataclysmic effect on morale if it is not dealt with early enough in the situation. If the problem is sorted out quickly, it may well be possible for the struggling individual to reintegrate back into the team and function well as an effective member of the team, but if the problem is left to fester, the troubled individual can bring unfettered negativity into the team, which of course is by no means desirable.
This does not mean it cannot be fixed, however, and there are a number of issues that cause people to be stressed out that are just part of being in an office space, such as back pain attributed to an uncomfortable chair, or eyesight issues as a result of staring at the screen too long.
For employers, these are easy enough to address if caught early on. Encourage regular breaks among staff and always make sure they are comfortable sitting down, as they will work much better when happy. However, if it is suspected that an employee is making a negative contribution because of something more serious such as substance abuse, fixing this amicably can be more difficult. An open chat is best, but should the problem persist, an oral lab fluid test option could work best.
Every individual is different, so recognising each issue as one to solve on a case-by-case basis will keep the team happiest, as staff will realise that they can come to you with any problems they may have, knowing they will be treated fairly.
Problems in the workplace will always arise in some form, but taking quick action gives you the best chance of maintaining workplace harmony and great team spirit.