It’s going to happen, and when it does, it’s never fun. Conflict in the workplace is very real and needs to be addressed with care so as to not disrupt employees who may not be involved. Conflict can be anything from one employee not getting along with another to the lack of performance from a subordinate. It’s difficult not to put emotion at the forefront of the situation, however one of the first ways to resolve any issue is making sure to keep your emotions in check.
Communication with the employee/s concerned in the situation is key. If you look back, usually a lack of communication is the leading factor contributing to the conflict, aggravated by little or incorrect information. Make certain there is open communication within your department in order to alleviate misunderstandings.
When addressing an employee, make sure to define acceptable behaviors. Having a clear and logical description of what’s expected of everyone is a positive step in avoiding conflicts. When you have a well-defined job description, it can help resolve most of the rising conflicts in a work environment by supporting your expectations of each employee.
Most importantly, address the conflict immediately. Letting it fester and allowing for an issue to build and never be resolved can lead to the loss of good employees. Make sure to listen, address, and resolve issues head on with a cool head.
Each step is vital when managing conflict in the working environment. Keeping your emotions in check, listening and communicating, defined appropriate behaviors, and swift reaction will usually result in a learning experience as well. It’s an opportunity for you, the owner/supervisor to learn what may or may not be working inside your team. Consider these lessons and conflicts will become less of an issue.