In any business, there will be employees who will not get along from time to time. It can be because of differences in their personalities, opinions, lifestyles and other factors. When there is a discord in the workplace, it pretty affects everyone. It results in tension that makes the office environment untenable creating a very negative impact on business productivity.
However, on the other hand, conflict among employees may be a blessing. When handled constructively, such kind of conflict may lead to improvement in processes, healthy competition, enhanced creativity, and innovation. Here are some vital tips to apply when looking forward to handling conflict in the workplace.
Understand the nature of the conflict
In most cases, people tend to make assumptions about conflict especially if there are some rumors in place. When conflict occurs, you should not assume anything. Instead, try to figure out what is contributing to the feud. When you have identified the cause of conflict, next is to apply the workplace harassment prevention policies and guidelines. Understand all the issues contributing to hostilities between your employees and try to address them amicably.
Encourage employees to work it out
You do not have to step in at every instance employees are having a conflict – you can encourage them to find an amicable solution among themselves. Your aim is to help employees to be as self-sufficient as possible and such comes by instilling confidence among themselves that they can solve issues on their own. If you react to every worker’s conflict, you may at the end create a lot of unnecessary drama and escalate issues.
Use Best Judgement
When it comes to addressing employees issues, always use the best judgment. First, you need to determine if the situation is emotionally charged and then define the severity of the conflict. After you have assessed the situation, next is to talk to every employee to ensure they know you are aware of the situation. Encourage open communication that seeks to resolve the conflict.
Listen to both sides
When it is time for you to get involved, work diligently on the issues. First, start by dismissing any gossip that might be trending around the office as you are not supposed to buy into anything you hear. Deal with the two groups involved and don’t worry about other members not a party to the conflict. If you have to speak to each group separately, provide each with uninterrupted time to air their grievances before you can merge them together for a solution.
Consult your employee handbook
You can always review company policies as stipulated in your employee handbook. It may help in shedding light on the best way to deal with and approach employee problems. When you stick to policies as stipulated in the employee handbook, it means all parties have something they can refer to and provides a practical way of remaining highly objective. Your employees respect and trust your decisions, so at any given time, you need to comes with a concrete solution that is very neutral and fair to both sides. For the decisions that you reach, ensure you write them up for future reference.