Easy Tips to Resolve Workplace Conflict
As the leader of a startup company, you should learn right away that conflict in the workplace is unavoidable. Unresolved conflict impairs productivity, stifles creativity and creates barriers between employees. It may even cause your top workers to seek employment elsewhere, costing you a substantial amount to recruit and re-train new hires.
Sitting back and hoping conflict will pass you by is not the proper response. With a few useful tips, you can learn to recognize, understand and resolve workplace conflict proactively and appropriately.
Face Conflict Head-On
Conflict can result from opposing opinions, miscommunication, competitive behavior, pride, jealousy, ego, compensation discrepancies, performance issues or even someone simply having a bad day. No matter the source, unresolved disagreements result in tension, which can embed hard feelings in everyday work.
Lack of information or misinformation is a common cause of conflict between departments. If you notice two teams butting heads, strive to improve interdepartmental communication.
If two employees are battling it out, set up a time to meet together. Listen to both parties say what they feel the other person needs to hear. Don’t let the meeting become a time to point fingers. Focus on the problem, and let the facts, not personal feelings or agendas, help you arrive at a resolution.
If one employee is creating conflict, pull that person aside and address the issue privately. Listen and learn about the person’s motivations to create conflict and make corrections as needed to improve behavior.
See Conflict as an Opportunity
When disagreements occur, this is your chance as a company leader to leverage the conflict for team building and leadership development purposes. Addressing conflict properly stimulates learning and innovation in ways that parties in agreement can’t even imagine. That’s how conflict can become an opportunity for positive change, growth and improvement. Everyone should emerge from the experience with some positive points of agreement and ideas for progressing from here on out.
Proactively Prevent Conflict
While you shouldn’t avoid conflict when it arises, there are plenty of things you can do to seek out areas of potential conflict and prevent them. Some ideas include:
- Establish company values to help encourage positive behavior, ground decision-making and recruit like-minded individuals.
- Create detailed job descriptions so employees understand their responsibilities.
- Articulate a chain of command to improve communication.
- Make it known publicly what types of behavior will and won’t be tolerated.
- Treat all staff respectfully and fairly via a transparent management system.
- Promote cooperation, not competition, between employees with group activities and training.
Texas Training and Conference Centers offers beautiful, professional training facilities in Houston. Take advantage of our offerings to train new hires, boost productivity among existing employees and resolve conflict that’s putting a damper on your business. For information about our private, fully equipped training rooms, please contact us at 832.982.1708 today.