Tension in the workplace can make it extremely uncomfortable for other employees. Thus possibly badly affecting productivity, refusal to work directly with each other and animosity. Though some situations start as tame and low key, they can quickly escalate to become a lot worse. Here at Recruitment Genius we have listed some tips on how you can help feuding employees.
Encourage employees to manage their own issues
Try to encourage your employees to sort it out between themselves. If you react to every whine from an employee then you may be making the situation worse. You could be feeding into the drama, be perceived as favouring one over the other and turn other employees against you. Therefore you need to determine the severity of the conflict. Once assessed, talk to each employee involved individually and encourage open communication. By doing this in a calm environment you could resolve the matter quickly.
Nip it in the bud
If the matter keeps recurring and won’t sort itself or is serious, you may have to step in. Therefore you may have to step in. If you ignore for too long then the dispute may fester and affect other workers. This could cause other employees to get involved too causing the conflict to grow and spread. Thus affecting team spirit and productivity. Therefore get to the root of the problem and determine which employees are directly involved. Once identified you can deal with accordingly.
Don’t form opinions based on office gossip. As a manager you need to be un-biased and level headed. Deal with the employees directly involved in this conflict and ask each to explain their side of the story. Determine first if you should do this one-on-one or with all parties involved. Once you have heard both sides, ask them how to move forward and to resolve the matter. Ensure, as a manager, you stay fair throughout. Do not take sides as this could make matters worse.
Reach a solution
To avoid the issue arising again in the future, you need to get to the source. Once identified you may be able to come up with a permanent solution. Employees don’t have to be best friends, but they do have to be professional and work together if need be.
Document all incidents
Ensure you keep track of all workplace incidents. This will help you monitor behaviour other time and determine if there are any patterns. Documenting incidents will also help protect your business should the situation get out of hand. Include resolutions for each problem to which all parties should agree and commit to.
Refer to the employee handbook
Refresh yourself and your employees with the company’s policies. Employee handbooks are used to state consistent rules that are expected to be followed at all times. If not included, you may want to add some guidelines referring to conflict resolution policies. More serious cases of conflict may refer to harassment or discrimination. Therefore the handbook should include these policies and contain directions on how to file a complaint. No employee is above the policies set in the workplace. Letting an employee off when they have gone against the rules will only weaken your authority and cause resentment amongst other employees.
Lead by example
Business owners, directors and managers set the bar on how to behave in the workplace. By speaking to your staff with respect and honesty, you are setting a precedent on how to expect your staff to interact. This will help create a strong team where any issues can be resolved efficiently and professionally.
It really is important to sort out co-worker conflicts that could affect the workplace. If you do, you may find that both employees work out their differences and move on. However if you don’t it may lead to a situation that affects both workers. This could cause one or both to leave the workplace. Therefore encourage colleagues to work through their issues so business can progress.