As much as we would love for every work day to operate without any conflict, sometimes disagreements are simply unavoidable. Having a conflict resolution plan in place for dealing with such issues is necessary. In fact, it’s a major part of managerial responsibility.
The main thing to keep in mind is that every individual conflict should be treated on a case-by-case basis. Because every situation is unique, there is no concrete way to handle everything. However, there are some highly reliable solutions that work well in a variety of situations.
Stop It Before It Starts – Objective awareness of what’s going on between employees is a smart way to stay ahead of the game. Be proactive by regularly engaging with staff while listening for hints about problems that have the potential to escalate. The moment a “conflict clue” arises, use that time to think of positive solutions and then explain to employees in a constructive way. It’s also helpful to gauge their response to these ideas. Do they seem open to it, or are they just nodding yes in hopes you’ll go away? In the case of the latter, you may have to go back to drawing board until something finally resonates. Stick with it. A happy compromise can almost always be reached with a little creative thinking.
Host an Impartial Meeting – Gather all parties involved into a personal meeting and allow them to clear the air. Sometimes just talking things out with a mediator in the room is all it takes to get back on track. Be impartial by actively listening to everyone’s concerns with compassion and understanding. Set ground rules about being both factual and respectful, and to avoid making it personal, which will help mitigate overly emotional responses.
Not only will employees feel better about having their voices heard, but you will gain a better understanding of what’s really happening. After everyone has had a chance to speak, use any newfound knowledge to come up with a reasonable solution for everyone.
Monitor the Situation – Once a compromise has been reached, follow up to see if things have actually improved. In some instances, people will agree to a resolution because they feel uncomfortable pushing against a matter that could affect their job standing. If the mood remains tense, it might be a good time to think about promoting the power of teamwork for extra encouragement.
Try revisiting successful projects and emphasize how working as a team led to triumph, then commend these achievements to encourage future success. You may be surprised to discover just how motivating simple praise can be.
Consult Human Resources – Sometimes a problem can become so severe that it requires HR intervention. These cases are usually reserved for situations involving unprofessional acts of disrespect, a significant dip in worker morale, or when people are threatening to quit. Anything that spells possible legal trouble absolutely requires HR’s involvement as well.
With that in mind, even casual conflicts can still be effectively aided by the HR department. Don’t be afraid to reach out for a fresh perspective during times of uncertainty.
One way Prudential Overall Supply helps to promote teamwork is by supplying official uniforms for employees. Just as everyone on a football team shares the same uniform, work uniforms help reinforce camaraderie as well. For more information about taking advantage of uniforms in your place of business, contact us today at (800) 767-5536.