Managing employee conflicts
Conflicts happen in any human relationship. And when people work together day after day they will develop some type of relationship and will likely experience conflicts some time during their relationship. Here are some tips to help business owners and managers manage their employees' conflicts.
Hear both sides
Sometimes it is essential for a manager or even the business' owner to hear the problems from the employees who are involved. The business owner or manager may be able to offer advice to help the employees solve the problem and they may be the only ones who have the authority to do what may be necessary to fix what has gone wrong.
When a business owner or the manager is listening to the problem and concerns of their employees it might be necessary for them to listen to each of the employee's side of the story one on one. Other times it might be helpful for each employee to hear the other employee's story when it is being told to the manager or the business owner. Either way the important thing is for the manager or business owner to really listen to both sides of the story and hear all of the concerns.
Asking questions about what the employees are talking about is a very important part of listening. The business owner or the manager should ask questions to make sure they are aware of what is being said and that they understand it correctly.
Sometimes it is a good idea for business owner to ask the employees' manager if they are aware of the situation and if they may be able to offer any more insight on the problem or problems that are or have occurred.
Most business owners and managers have more experience for how to deal with conflict. They may have better training and have superior skills to deal with problems than their employees may encounter in the workplace.
Because this is the case, business owners and managers need to guide employees to help them solve their conflicts. If two or more employees are dealing with a problem a business owner or a manager may be able to offer advice or help the employees come to the conclusion of how they can solve their problems.
Don't be part of the problem
It is a good idea for a business owner or the manager to not be part of the problem. While they need to be a little involved they should not automatically take sides, tell other employees about the problem, or expect things will always smooth itself over.
Each situation will call for different types of action. What works sometimes may not work other times. Employees are different and their problems are different. And solving employee problems can sometimes be a process of trial and error.
If some type of action is required by the manager or the business owner to help solve the problem, the employer needs to explain their decision to the employees. Many times the solution to the problem may not be what both employees would like. But sometimes compromises need to be made. When a business owner or the manager explains their decision to the employees involved hopefully they will allow the employees to see why they have made that decision and keep their respect even if they do not agree with the decision.