No matter how healthy your company culture is, conflicts are still likely to occur. That’s just human nature. Indeed, the best businesses aren’t the ones that completely eliminate friction between employees, but rather, those take the time to address and resolve issues before they become problematic. Though many people would rather not talk about conflict and avoid it altogether, it’s crucial for business owners to take a proactive stance toward conflict resolution. Otherwise, ill will could fester and quickly disrupt your company. Here, we’ll cover how you can manage and mitigate against conflicts in the office:
In many instances, workplace conflicts arise from a small incident: not filing a report on time. Forgetting to log a few lines of data. The issue isn’t so much about the initial mistake or incident but the reaction to it. Encourage your team members to be open and honest with each other. It’s much better for employees to voice frustration or concern in a constructive way than to hold a grudge that will grow with time.
Prioritize Modern Design
There’s an old saying: familiarity breeds contempt. When team members work in close quarters with each other for long periods of time, conflict is almost certain to follow. As such, modern office design practices incorporate break rooms and multiple workstations to allow employees greater workplace flexibility. Simply letting your staff get up and move away from each other will diffuse a lot of tension.
Lower the Stakes
Some business owners think it’s a good idea to foster competition between their team members. And while this may serve to motivate some professionals in certain situations, it’s unlikely to yield positive results in the long term. Instead of promoting internal competition, reward your employees for working together.
Business owners should act as a sounding board when their employees want to vent. Stress is unavoidable, but business owners who take the time to meet with their team members and who actively listen to their concerns can identify potential problems and conflicts before they get out of hand. Plus, your staff will appreciate the chance to speak their mind!
Head Out & Have Fun
Unless your business is very small, it’s almost inevitable that a few of your employees won’t get along while at work. Still, it’s typically a good idea to take your team out of the office from time to time for dinner, drinks, or an easy-going activity like bowling or golf. Leaving the workplace for a while and letting your employees mingle in a social setting will often help them find common ground and develop better relationships. As hokey as some team-building exercises may appear, they can nevertheless prove a wonderful tool to prevent and manage conflict.