Workplace conflict is far more common than you think. The vast majority of employees have someone that is difficult to work with.
In fact, roughly 85% of employees have dealt with a conflict at work. Even more shocking is the financial impact. Companies spend nearly $360 billion resolving workplace conflict in the United States.
Workplace conflict creates an uncomfortable environment for all. Also, it leads to inefficiency and a failure to collaborate.
The good news is that as a leader you can help resolve workplace conflict. Read on to learn about workplace conflict management. Explore five essential tips for conflict management that are certain to help.
1. Training for Managers
One of the most effective tips is to train your managers. The return on investment for a training class is significant.
By learning conflict management strategies, your leadership is equipped to quickly stop a conflict. Conflict management students learn how to interpret employee behaviors and resolve issues. This in turn prevents inefficiency from resulting in lost profits.
Many employees are dissatisfied with workplace conflict and ultimately resign from the company. By proactively resolving issues, you can retain quality employees. This saves money spent on retraining new employees as well.
2. Act Quickly
Do not let workplace conflict grow into something more significant and damaging. The best strategy is to quickly address it.
Unfortunately, conflict has a way of planting seeds and spreading. Employees pick sides in the conflict and are entangled in the drama. This creates new hostilities and inefficiencies in the organization.
3. Collect All Relevant Information
It is important as a manager not to act hastily. You should do your due diligence and collect all available information.
This includes listening to all sides of a conflict. It also may involve sitting down with witnesses or other stakeholders that are negatively impacted by the conflict. Only with all the information can a manager make the best decision moving forward.
Sometimes the best conflict management strategy is to facilitate an open discussion. When responsible adults hear the other person’s perspective, the issue may resolve itself.
This allows the manager to serve as a moderator. They listen intently as both sides explain their point of view and what is troubling them.
Also, it eliminates the chance that one or more of the employees gets angry with you. You remain neutral by not overstepping and allowing the issue to work itself out.
5. Team Building
Team building is an increasingly popular way to prevent conflict from rearing its ugly head. Team building comes in many different forms. Some managers host a family barbeque while others bring their team to a ball game.
Whatever form it takes, team building allows strong relationships to build. Here, employees can get to know their colleagues at a deeper level.
Workplace Conflict Management: A Recap
Nothing drains the positive vibes from an office quite like a conflict. A good manager prevents conflict from growing into something more severe.
Steps like conflict management training and team building events are certain to help. If you enjoyed this article about workplace conflict management, check out our blog for more great content.