How to Manage Workplace Conflict

Disagreements in the workplace are inevitable. Personalities don’t jive, toes get stepped on, employees want to take projects in different directions … it’s when these disagreements escalate into real conflict that it becomes your responsibility to step in. Allowing conflicts to fester will only lower office morale and reduce productivity.

Use these tips to manage workplace conflict and resolve things as quickly and easily as possible:

Set Guidelines

Every staff member should know what to do in the event a conflict arises, and they should be aware that no inappropriate or violent behavior will be tolerated under any circumstances. Include language in your employee handbook about conflict resolution; this will help to mediate conflicts, and it often allows your employees to resolve things on their own before a situation can escalate.

Listen

When a conflict is brought to your attention, it’s tempting to jump in and choose a side right away. Resist this urge, and do what’s not always so easy: listen. Meet privately with those involved in the conflict — consider all sides of the argument, and make each party know they’ve been heard. Nothing stokes a conflict more than dismissal or ignorance on the part of a supervisor or manager!

Find a Compromise

Now comes the hard part: finding a compromise. Often, you’ll find there is not one “right” and “wrong” party in a workplace conflict, and the solution probably lies in a grey area. As a leader, it’s your responsibility to find or create that solution. Rather than assigning blame, help all parties work toward a mutually agreeable compromise so the problem is resolved.

Commit to Changes

Remember, your job isn’t done when the conflict is resolved. Use the situation to your and the organization’s advantage, because it’s a teachable moment. Remind all parties of the process they’ve just gone through to resolve their issues, and coach them through what could have been done differently. Have everyone commit to changes so the same thing doesn’t happen again — or, if it does, the individuals involved are better equipped to reach an agreeable solution on their own.

Would you like to learn even more about managing workplace conflict? High Profile is here to help you not only hire the right people but also to make sure your existing staff is firing on all cylinders. To find out more about how our staffing service can help you, give us a call today at 972-991-7900 or contact us online.