Conflict at work is an unavoidable part of life. We all have arguments with our colleagues from time to time, and that’s all part of life. However, conflict, when it isn’t dealt with correctly, can fester and grow until it effects everyone in the building and makes it difficult for you to run the business effectively.
That’s why it’s so important that you, as a manager, business owner or HR professional. Know how to deal with it effectively. Here are some simple strategies to help you with that:
If you encourage positivity in your workplace, by paying more compliments and praising more work than you complain about, then your attitude is likely to run off on the rest of your team, and they are more likely to follow suit. Anyway, if everyone is busy being praised, they’re less likely to be in a bad mood, which means kicking off probably won’t be on the agenda.
Organise Team Building Activities
I know that team building strikes fear in the heart of many employees, makes others groan and have managers worrying about the loss of productivity it will cause, but you know what? Despite the attitude that some people have to it, team building can be really effective – it’s just a matter of finding the activity that will bring your team together. If, for example, they aren’t the type who’ll enjoy running around the mountains for building a canoe out of lollipop sticks, send them on a beer brewing course or have them try yoga – anything that will get them in the same space having fun will be of benefit when it comes to reducing conflict in the workplace.
Let Them Have Fun
A good way of keeping conflict to a minimum and diffusing it when it does happen is by encouraging a fun working environment. Offices where the staff aren’t allowed to so much say hello to each other in the morning without a stern look from the boss are the worst for conflict, and that’s because the atmosphere makes people miserable, tense and annoyed. If you let your staff tell the odd joke, and if they know that being playful, as long as they get their work done too, won’t be a problem, you’ll notice the amount of conflicts you have to deal with drop dramatically.
As a manager or business owner, it is your job to keep an eye on the goings-on of your employees, and where necessary be ready to step in and diffuse any conflict before it gets too much. Obviously, that means that you may need to spend more time on the office floor, but it’ll be worth it when you have a harmonious team working productively together.
Of course, prevention is always better than cure, which is why it could be beneficial to enrol yourself and your employees on a conflict resolution course, which will help you all when it looks like an argument is about to kick off. Even a mindfulness course could be useful in diffusing trouble before it really starts, too.
Employ these strategies and serenity will be yours – at work, at least!