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How To Resolve Conflicts In The Workplace

With leadership comes the responsibility of managing conflicts that may arise amongst employees.
The office is a strange place where employees are expected to work collaboratively while simultaneously compete with each other.

Consider the position of a Marketing Director with four Brand Managers.

The managers should want each other to succeed for the betterment of the company, but at the same time, they are in competition with each other.

At the end of the quarter, their progress and achievements are compared and the one who’s brought most profits is likely to be promoted.

They do join forces for projects and rely on one another for advice. However, they also compete for the greater portion of the budget and are rewarded for devising, unique and effective strategies.

Conflicts are sure to occur whenever there is competitive tension, power-struggles, clash of egos, jealously, performance discrepancies along with many other reasons. All workplaces have conflicts; it’s how they are managed that distinguishes a successful organization from a failing one.

Check out these tips on resolving conflicts in the workplace:

1)Let them know what is acceptable and what isn’t

You can assume that working adults know what is classed as acceptable behavior in a workplace; however, if you’re beginning to notice snide comments, raised voices and gossip in the workplace, you know a reminder is necessary.

In a competitive atmosphere, working adults are very capable of behaving like little kids in the playground.

Send out a quick email that emphasizes the importance of teamwork in the organization and let them know that rude behavior will not be tolerated. Remind them that their behavior is being monitored.

2)Set guidelines for decision making

Creating a framework for making decisions helps reduce conflicts.

For example, a clearly defined job description prevents employees from taking up tasks that they aren’t required to do. Imagine all the workplace stress that be reduced if employees were only working on the tasks that was agreed upon originally.

By enforcing formal frameworks and guidelines in the workplace, you lessen the chance of unfair treatment.

3)Prevent conflicts when you can

If you sense tension between a manager and his subordinate then it’s best to intervene before it gets out of hand. Take them both aside and encourage them to communicate their concerns openly. Nipping workplace tensions in the bud prevents conflicts from surfacing.

4)Think of conflicts as a an opportunity

Conflicts in the workplace are costing organizations by impacting levels of productivity.

A 2008 study on U.S. workplace conflict found that employees spend 2.8 hours per week managing conflict.
This accumulates to roughly $359 billion in paid hours or 385 million working days.

Identifying a conflict is the first step to resolving it. Work together with all involved parties to come up with solutions that benefit them and the organization.

Struggling to resolve workplace conflicts? No worries, contact DFRI today. Our team of employee relations experts is trained in helping businesses resolve the toughest workplace conflicts.

Call 1-877-803-3486 or email us at info@dfrihr.com for more information.