Conflict, office politics and inter-staff drama can really take its toll on workplace morale and productivity. While some forms of conflict are inevitable, managers can employ several strategies to minimise instances and implement a resolution-based culture in their team. Read on to find out three strategies you can put in place to help keep your workplace conflict free.
Even if your organisation doesn’t have mandated regular team meetings or one-on-one sessions, proactive leaders should make sure they are regularly connecting with their staff. Ideally, each team should start the day with a quick catch up: just five or ten minutes to connect with one another, run through priorities and share updates. In addition to this, regularly (aka monthly or bimonthly), managers should chat with their team members one-on-one in a more formal, structured way to really understand how they are going, if they need support or assistance and to help ensure they stay engaged and motivated in their role.
Pre-empt potentially stressful or confrontational situations
Often when conflict noticeably erupts at work, warning signs or triggers have signalled along the way that trouble is brewing. As a leader, you need to be able to identify potential pressure points before they explode. Perhaps you might notice that individual personalities are prone to clashing or that two conflicting and equally demanding and important deadlines are looming at the same time. This is where regular group and one-on-one communication with your team matters, as does active listening; being able to predict and diffuse conflict before it occurs is often as much about what isn’t said as the words you hear.
Consider engaging HR consulting services
Whether you work with them on a regular or ad hoc basis, an experienced HR consulting firm can help to ensure that your team is working towards a common goal in a happy and productive way. Visit the Chandler Macleod website to see how they can help your teams work more cohesively. HR consultants can help supplement your internal human resources team’s efforts to ensure that your staff can work together effectively and are equipped with the skills they need to communicate without high-pressure situations escalating into conflict. Consider adding regular team-building events and actively working with your department leaders and managers on strategies for training, development and ongoing performance improvement. If necessary, a reputable firm can also assist with mediation and conflict resolution, too.
Prevention is better than cure when it comes to avoiding conflict in the workplace. When you are dealing with a diverse range of people each with their own individual personalities, work style and belief structures, it is natural that some friction will occur from time to time. By actively working on your team’s culture and communication, you will be able to ensure that the overall mood and morale in your team is collaborative and positive, even during stressful situations.
What are your best tips for managing conflict in the workplace? How do you handle colleagues who you just seem to clash with? Leave your answer in the comments section below.