Conflict is inevitable wherever people share the same space, and the workplace is a prime example. Factor in the challenges and ever-lingering effects of a pandemic, and the groundwork is laid for a conflict escalation. While eliminating conflict is a pipe dream, strategies to manage and resolve conflict will create unity, improve production, raise morale, and positively impact employee retention efforts.
Let’s look at strategies that tackle the HOW of conflict resolution.
· Deal with conflicts as they occur
While expected and, to a degree, considered normal, that’s not to say that conflicts should be swept under the rug, brushed aside, or ignored. Because when not addressed, conflicts tend to escalate and may soon spiral into a blizzard-like situation. Major conflicts, understandably, will take longer to resolve, create more disruption, and pose a greater threat to retaining employees. So the moral of the story: don’t delay in addressing conflict.
· Empower your team with conflict resolution training
Make conflict resolute a team initiative by investing in conflict resolution training. By providing the skills and tools to work through conflict, your company will be making great strides in pursuing a respectful, collaborative company culture—a definite top-tier line item on the want-list of today’s employees. In addition, effective conflict resolution is key to creating a safe, comfortable workplace environment, which is central to maintaining an adequate workforce and reigning in employee retention rates.
Be prepared to mediate
Another certainty: some conflicts will require mediation from the department manager, the HR department, or the business owner. When employee conflict training isn’t enough, it’s imperative that management get involved. Because it’s part of being in charge, and while it may not be the most looked-forward-to part of the job, don’t tackle conflict management with dread, procrastination, or an attitude of grumbling. But instead, with a let’s-get-to-the-heart-of-the-matter spirit, paying attention to—
- Giving all sides time to share
- Steering the discussion away from personal attacks
- Seeking to uncover the origin of the conflict
- Encouraging all involved to see the perspectives of others
- Initiating a conversation about prevention of this or a similar conflict in the future
- Asking how management can support the employees
It’s worth mentioning that a reputation for positive conflict management not only aids retention but also makes recruiting new talent easier. With public knowledge influenced by social media, being known for either a well-managed conflict situation or a negative, unchecked conflict environment will significantly impact your brand. As a result, folks will seek positions in your firm or run in the opposite direction.
Let the A. R. Mazzotta team drive the charge to fill the open positions on your roster. Then, you’ll have more time to nurture a healthy, happy company culture that retains skilled talent and attracts new talent.