Running a successful business often involves bringing people together from a diverse range of backgrounds. Unfortunately, while some personality types will blend well together, others won’t be as successful. Regardless of how compatible certain members of a team might appear to be from a skills perspective, each individual brings along unique traits that can make it hard to achieve complete cohesion in the workforce.
Since workplace conflict can cause serious problems in the business environment, reducing focus on the task at hand, and making it harder to retain key staff members, it’s a problem that leaders should deal with as soon as possible. Here are just some of the ways management can address workplace conflict issues.
1. Set Guidelines for Conflict Management:
It’s hard to find a single workplace in the world today where every employee gets along. Even the best brands have coworkers that don’t mesh well together – the difference is that the workers in these teams don’t allow their differences to impact their work. If something starts to get out of hand, they know the guidelines they need to follow to deal with the problem as quickly as possible.
Guidelines for conflict management help to empower staff members by letting them know what they need to do when they’re having trouble with one of their coworkers. This means that employees don’t try to solve things by themselves by resorting to negative behavior. It can also ensure that managers can separate people if necessary.
2. Train Managers to Become Mediators:
Managers aren’t just there to make sure that employees do their job well – they’re also there to support every employee on their path to becoming as productive and valuable as possible. No staff member can perform at their best if they’re constantly dealing with conflict caused by another coworker. That means that managers should train to recognize sources of conflict early, and deal with them before they progress.
There are plenty of mediation courses out there that managers can take to improve their communication skills and prepare to deal with workplace problems. The quicker a manager can help team members to overcome their issues, the faster every person within the organization can get back to focusing on the job at hand.
3. Set Expectations for Conduct:
Finally, while personality clashes can happen in any business environment, leaders can sometimes reduce the number of issues that arise by letting staff know what’s expected from them. From day one, welcome each new hire to the business with an explanation of how they should conduct themselves in the office. For instance, leaders can let their new recruits know that they won’t tolerate bullying or intolerance.
Let each staff member know that there will be consequences for conflict-causing behaviors. With formal complaint guidelines in place, managers will be able to see when certain staff members aren’t following the rules of conduct. This ensures that managers can take disciplinary action quickly when necessary, and reduce the damage done to the overarching company culture.