March 01, 2017 / News
When working with people it is inevitable for conflict to arise. We are only human after all. However, the mark of good management is being able to navigate through these conflicts and ensure that all parties involved reach a mutually acceptable resolution. Avoiding or failing to deal with workplace conflicts can lead to toxic work environments, lowered productivity, and increased employee turnover. Thus, management must be vigilant, swift and fair when it comes to tackling disputes that occur between employees.
Here are some tips we have compiled to help you steer clear of a HR disaster.
1 - Learn To Differentiate Between Healthy And Unhealthy Conflict
It's important to remember that not all conflict is bad. Sometimes conflict is a necessary ingredient to spark creative ideas, challenge stagnant processes, and allow for the generation of well-thought ideas. However, once the conflict becomes unproductive, personal, and affects the overall team in a negative way, it is time to step in.
2 - Nip It In The Bud
The earlier the better. Once you get an inkling that there may be an issue between employees, it is vital that you directly engage with the feuding parties and investigate the situation. When you address conflict in its early stages, you increase the likelihood of coming to a swift conclusion and controlling the spread of its negative effects in the workplace. That is why it is vital for management to keep their ear to the ground and stay vigilant when it comes to identifying any early warning signs.
3 - Don't Let Emotions Cloud Judgement
To effectively manage conflict, it is important that you set aside any potential biases and approach the situation in an objective manner. You should hear out all the parties involved and work with them to come up with a resolution that they can all agree on. When employees feel as though their opinions are valued and feel a sense of responsibility for the resolution, the conflict will be effectively extinguished and unlikely to pop up again.
4 - Keep Communication Lines Open
Communication is key. By fostering a work environment that promotes and encourages employees to openly communicate with one another, as well as with management, it helps to prevent instances of miscommunication. Miscommunication can often be a source of conflict in the workplace, so by establishing open communication in the workplace, you will be able to minimise potential feuds. Having an open dialogue helps to set the tone of an inclusive environment, allow for smoother collaboration and provide management with greater insight into the dynamics of the team.
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