How to Avoid Conflict in the Workplace

In almost every area of our lives, conflict seems to arise occasionally. However, when it pops up in the workplace, it becomes an important goal for everyone involved to properly manage and resolve it. People with various egos, values, opinions and goals are often brought together by businesses. Because of this, conflict can arise especially if expectations not clearly set or if the workplace undergoes a significant change.

When managing conflict, the proverb "prevention is better than cure" always ring true. An employer that prevents conflict from happening altogether is better than one that manages it properly. Here are a few tips on preventing simple conflict in the workplace.

1. Focus on Communication

Healthy and relevant communication is one of the foundations of conflict prevention and resolution. Make sure that each employee has the opportunity to speak his or her mind by instituting a formal communication system and encouraging them to use it appropriately. This strategy not only gives you an opportunity to anticipate future problems, it also helps employees keep their frustrations at bay by venting them out through the proper channels.

2. Recognize Employees

In addition to boosting over-all morale, employee reward programs and special events also provide an opportunity for team-building. When your business is filled with happy and motivated employees, you will realize that the modest financial investment it takes to implement these program indeed pay off in the long run. Recognize your employees and show them you care about their happiness in unexpected ways like giving out impromptu rewards. Just as an unexpected gift from a spouse or friend would brighten your day, you can do the same for your employees.

3. Stay in Touch

It is important for managers to be aware of what is happening "on the floor." Problems go unnoticed and often get out of control when you hide behind your office. To avoid being caught by your employees' discontent and workday issues, you should strike up casual conversations with them on a regular basis.

4. Resolving Conflict

Handle conflict as quickly and efficiently as possible, if and when it arises. When scheduling a meeting to deal the conflict, be sure to include HR representatives and anyone else involved with it. Use the meeting to define the problem and allow both sides to share his or her views on that problem. In the meeting, place emphasis on the resulting feelings because of the conflict and on suggestions to resolve the issue. As their employer, help your employees come to an agreement on their terms but they can't, create resolution that is best for the business and everyone involved. To ensure the resolution's effectiveness, check in with each employee in a few days or weeks.

Learn how mediation can help you resolve any commercial and business disputes through interest-based bargaining. Mr. Goldlust is offering his confidential services to parties jointly requesting a neutral facilitator in matters relating to employment, union management relations and general commercial disputes. Call 302-483-2000 or visit http://www.perryfgoldlust.com.

This article was published on 15 Jul 2014 and has been viewed 500 times
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