How to resolve conflict between employees
Most professionals in the workplace will tell you they feel pretty neutral about their coworkers. Many times they like some and dislike others. There are times coworkers absolutely despise one another. This can make an unpleasant workplace environment for the entire company. The real problem arises when there is conflict between employees. Your company better have a good policy in place for how to resolve conflict between coworkers. If you don't, let's go over some helpful tools to resolve conflict.
1. Resolve a dispute as soon as it starts.
Most companies have a human resource department who is in charge of resolving conflicts between coworkers. Employees should know when they are hired that a disagreement should not become such a large problem that they are not willing to resolve it.
A meeting should be set up with the HR department to talk to each coworker individually. From there a strategy can be drawn up of how to fix the problem.
2. Find the reasons for the disagreement and develop a strategy.
Having each coworker sit down and write their insight about what happened will surprise them. Often it is a little encounter that builds to larger ones. Once they have both written their sides of the story, develop a strategy that will allow them to resolve the conflict.
3. Walk in their shoes.
Have each employee look at the other person's perspective. Have a role play with each coworker to discuss why certain things lead to the conflict.
4. Stay Cool.
When both coworkers are ready to resolve the conflict and have to talk face to face; remind them to keep their cool. Showing anger and other negative emotions can cause the disagreement to erupt and become more difficult to resolve. Have the employees focus on their goals of resolving the conflict rather than on the other person's possibly offensive or troubling remarks.Having the employees in a calm, rational state of mind will do wonders for resolving the conflict.
5. Understand the personal and organizational benefits of turning an enemy into an ally.
Recognize that there's no payoff for conflict. Becoming united also can increase your job security and stability. Usually, the employees find it liberating to overcome their negative feelings and develop broader concerns, productivity often rises when the disagreements are resolved.
6. If these tactics fail, find ways to help the employees avoid those they clash with.
If you have tried everything and there is still a problem, perhaps just telling the employee to stay away from those they don't get along with is the best advice. This may require a job change or transfer to another department.
Resolving conflicts between employees is not always easy and you can end up losing a good worker because of it. Downsizings, mergers and other organizational change are common maneuvers nowadays, so having your employees focus on creating allies at work are great since they will support each other in the long-term.
One last great thing to do for your entire company is to plan a retreat. This is when the entire office can go somewhere for the day or an overnight trip and discuss the future of the company and the problems that people may be having. It is a great team building activity and everyone at the company is able to contribute to the future of the company.
For a company to be successful, everyone must be allowed to express their ideas. An opening listening environment shows respect for them and makes them feel valued. With larger companies, it is essential to have a program in place of how to resolve conflict between employees. These training courses should offer programs in conflict management techniques and personnel skills.