Office conflict can make the difference between employees feeling engaged and motivated or disgruntled and disheartened. Workplace conflict can exist due to differences in employees’ personalities and principles. Tension in the workplace can affect the business’ turnover rates, meaning the sooner it is dealt with, the better. Read these 5 tips to help you reduce conflict in the workplace:
One of the most common causes of workplace conflict is either the lack of or poor communication. Employees being confused as to what their job role is, what they need to achieve or what is going on within the business can lead to conflict. Improving communication by ensuring delivery of all information is clear, concise, correct and understood will help to reduce confusion and tension in the workplace.
2. Stop avoiding it
Avoiding conflict in the workplace can be detrimental to the overall business. Ignoring tense situations can make them build up and become worse over time. This can be detected by other employees, causing them to feel uncomfortable. It is best to deal with conflict as soon as it occurs to avoid an awkward atmosphere developing and affecting everyone in the workplace.
3. Set a formal complaint process
Sometimes conflict can’t be resolved easily and employees need to file a formal complaint. It is important that all colleagues know how to do this process so that they don’t feel uncomfortable. The employee needs to complete a written complaint form and submit it to the HR Manager to be investigated and actioned further.
4. Create an environment that promotes collaboration
Having an open plan office or hot-desking policy where different teams can integrate will promote collaboration. By offering teamwork days that encourage trust, lets employees become more comfortable with each other and recognize what kind of behaviours are acceptable.
5. Ensure everyone is treated fairly
It seems obvious that everyone should be treated fairly in the workplace, however, sometimes managers can be accused of favoritism. Members of the management team need to make sure they always appear neutral to minimize chances of conflict amongst employees.
Within every workplace conflict is going to take place. It needs to be viewed as an opportunity for everyone to learn. When a disagreement takes place, it is an opportunity to work on employee development and growth.