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How to Avoid Employee Conflict

How to Avoid Employee Conflict

Do you experience drama between employees within the workplace?

At the workplace, you can be sure that drama in the form of conflict will raise its ugly head at one time or another. As a leader, you should always be ready and well equipped to deal with any conflict in order to restore a productive working environment. Conflicts that are not resolved on time or those that are not resolved efficiently are likely to develop into bigger problems that might negatively affect the organization in a big way. So how does one effectively manage office drama? Below are a few important pointers

Be proactive in terms of conflict avoidance

Prevention is better than cure. Solving a conflict can be very hard and conflicts will often leave deep scars that might not be healed easily. Therefore, it is best to avoid conflicts altogether. To do this, an important thing that you as a leader could do is to train your workforce on how to handle tense situations that might result in conflict. The employees should be trained on how to respect each other, how to use agreeable language, how to think about the other employees’ welfare, and how to control their personal emotions.

You can hang a poster with some of the important steps of conflict avoidance on a wall where all the employees will be able to read them frequently. You could also arrange for a seminar where an expert will train the staff on conflict avoidance and how to handle conflict.

Define clear boundaries within the workplace

In the workplace, you should enforce a code of conduct that should be strictly adhered to in order to avoid volatile situations. You should clearly define what is acceptable and what is not. This is especially important when it comes to how individuals are supposed to deal with authority and the chain of command. It is also very important that each employee has a clear job description. This will help each individual to work in his or her own space and not go meddling in other employees’ territory.

Always look for the root cause of a conflict and address it

When dealing with conflicts, it is easy to deal with the symptoms of the conflict but completely miss the main cause of the conflict. Two employees might get in a fight because one of them did not put more paper in the printer tray. This is hardly a justifiable reason for a fight, if you however look closely enough, this has been a fight that has been long in the making; maybe the employee has a habit of being inconsiderate, it could be a jealousy issue, or it could be as a result of an unresolved past conflict. Unless you effectively resolve the main problem, conflicts between employees are likely to happen again in the future.

Introduce fun and humor in the workplace

Humor is an excellent antidote for conflicts. A tense moment can be surprisingly turned into a productive moment by the injunction of a wise joke. Humor and fun activities make people happy, and people do not fight when they are happy. Your employees will be able to make better emotional decisions when they are happy than when they are stringed out with stress. To induce an atmosphere of happiness within the workplace, you could occasionally mail out a clever joke to all the staff, or you could occasionally have a team building exercise that is fun for all.

How to Avoid Employee Conflict

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