When a business and its workers are in conflict, it is important for both sides to take a step back and assess the situation. The first step is to assess the level of hostility between the parties. Ideally, the two parties should meet for a period of time to discuss the issues in a private and non-judgmental setting. Reacting negatively or taking sides will only make matters worse. Aim to find common ground so that both sides are able to see things from the same perspective.
Once the parties have identified the issues that are causing the conflict, it is time to discuss ways to resolve them. Using non-defensive language will help both parties understand each other’s perspective. Using “I” messages will also help them clarify their feelings and opinions.
Poor performance and unclear job descriptions can lead to conflict in the workplace. Clearly defined roles and expectations will enable employees to work harmoniously and resolve conflict before it gets out of hand. Ultimately, the company will struggle to get the work done if it has a lack of engagement and high absenteeism. Healthy conflict, however, is important to a healthy work environment.
In order to successfully resolve workplace conflict, managers should avoid escalating the conflict and acting inappropriately. These actions can escalate drama and make employees feel like you are playing favorites. Instead, they should try to provide tools that allow employees to resolve the conflict without involving the boss. When workers begin to feel emotional, they may submit complaints that may lead to legal actions. So, if a business or its workers are experiencing conflict, the first step should be to take time out and consider what you said or did to avoid escalating it.
Workplace conflict is a natural part of any workplace. However, it can be harmful and can result in lower morale and productivity. In addition, it can increase absenteeism and even violence. According to the University of Colorado’s Faculty and Staff Assistance Program, 25 percent of a manager’s time is spent resolving workplace conflict.
It’s essential to recognize that workplace conflict is often caused by clashing personalities. It can disrupt work teams and hinder their collaboration, causing missed deadlines and a less productive work environment. Even worse, if the conflict is not resolved in a timely fashion, workers may leave the business altogether. To avoid such a disastrous outcome, the best way to deal with workplace conflict is to focus on the core issue, and then try to find a solution.
Workplace conflict can also be a learning experience for management and employees. A difference of opinion can spark innovation and new ways to solve problems. It doesn’t have to lead to an organization’s collapse; in fact, the most successful business managers use internal conflicts to grow and improve the business.