In any workplace populated by large numbers of people with different temperaments, personalities and ways of thinking, occasional conflicts are inevitable. To expect all the members of your staff to get along with one another all the time would be a pretty unrealistic expectation. Conflicts will happen, but they shouldn’t disrupt your business’ operations or impede its success. Rather than try to avoid conflict altogether, seasoned management teams train themselves to anticipate conflict, and then react accordingly in order to mitigate collateral damage. Perhaps the best way to reduce the impact of conflicts in the workplace is to maintain open channels of communication between management and staff. How can businesses go about doing this in practice?
Make Expectations Known
This calls for good communication on the part of your management team. Employees shouldn’t being making assumptions about what constitutes acceptable behavior. Rather, they should have a clear understanding of what’s expected of them and their fellow coworkers. Make sure these expectations are outlined from day one, and reiterate them in performance reviews and meetings when necessary.
Offer Venues to Air Grievances
Employees shouldn’t feel like they have to keep their frustrations to themselves. Very often, these frustrations harbor hidden opportunities for growth and improvement in the workplace. Whether it’s a suggestion box in the breakroom or an open door policy with members of your management team, employees should have some means of expressing their concerns without having to worry about it coming back to haunt them in the future.
Empower your HR Department
Your Human Resources department constitutes the first line of defense against conflicts that can derail projects and negatively impact workforce morale. Familiarize the rest of your staff with your HR team, and provide them with numerous ways to reach out to them, either anonymously or by name. Make sure your HR department has the resources and personnel they need to mediate budding conflicts before they escalate into serious issues. Give them the time they need to make meaningful strides in conflict resolution rather than patching ongoing problems with superficial, temporary solutions.
At CSS, we know that you depend on your HR team to manage interpersonal conflicts and maintain the emotional well-being of your workforce. This is an essential job that ensures smooth and productive day-to-day operations. That’s why we’ve spent over two decades helping our client companies find talented, thoroughly vetted HR candidates to add to their teams. Give us a call today, and let us help you find the HR personnel you need to keep your businesses firing on all cylinders.