Conflict in the workplace is sadly inevitable. Put a group of people in a room together for eight hours or longer every day, week after week. No matter how well they get along, sooner or later, it’s going to happen.
Since it can’t be completely avoided, the next best thing is to have a plan for when it occurs. That’s because if left unaddressed, employee conflicts can ruin morale and permanently damage your company’s culture. Simply put, letting conflicts in the workplace fester is a very bad idea. The question is what can be done about it?
You’re in luck! Just below, we’ll outline a few simple things you can do to resolve workplace conflicts before they get out of hand and cause lasting damage to your company.
1 – Address It Head On
When you see two of your employees feuding, they will most likely be sniping at each other with barbs or insults and it may be either in person or via email. No matter what, it is important to address it right away.
Meet with all the participants of the conflict and find out what’s behind it. There are only two possibilities here and it’s either personal or it’s professional.
2 – How You Address It Matters
In the case of personal differences driving the conflict, you can likely just meet with both parties at the same time. Sit them down and remind them to keep the personal stuff out of the office.
If it’s professional, it may be best to meet with each side separately so you can get each party’s side of the story and assess from there. Then, involve HR at that point if necessary.
3 – Listen and Seek Input
After hearing from the parties involved about what’s driving the conflict, ask each of them how they’d like to see the issue resolved.
Sometimes, nothing comes from this when both parties may have unrealistic expectations. However, more often than you might think, a solution presents itself from that conversation.
There are several other things you can do to help resolve workplace conflicts, but if you do nothing more than adopt the suggestions above, you’ll be miles ahead of most managers!