How small business owners can handle employee conflict
By some estimates, you’ll spend thousands of hours in the office or somewhere on the job over a lifetime.
Given that amount of time, conflict at work is inevitable.
By understanding how to approach crucial conversations, we can make those hours at work not seem like multiple lifetimes.
Here’s how your small business can approach and resolve the inevitability of conflict within the workplace.
Draw clear boundaries
Regardless of your business culture, setting clear standards and boundaries is essential to prevent conflict before it arises, or gets out of control.
It is important to have an employee manual that outlines ways to handle these situations, but it’s also important to let others know when a line has been crossed.
Your ability to be observant of unwarranted behavior, or borderline behavior, will allow you to effectively communicate to staff. Keep an eye out for tendencies that can trigger unwanted responses or negative attitudes, or actions that demonstrate an employee’s inability to be self-aware.
Coaching, regular one-on-one meetings and other settings are great times to remind staff and set precedence about what’s expected.
You’ll be viewed as a leader who both identifies potential risks and is willing to work with employees on maintaining a positive mindset in the workplace. That’s something everyone within the company can be thankful for.
Recognize and respect differences
Diversity of the workplace is enriching.
Take advantage of that by respecting the different points of view. Your employees’ backgrounds and experiences are company assets. Use them as such. Employees will feel valued.
Since conflict resolution is rarely black and white, your ability to see different points of view will enable you to approach problems from various angles.
As a bonus, your acceptance and willingness to listen to a diversity of voices will build trust, which is invaluable as you nurture relationships with your employees.
Pick the best timing
Work life is busy. Therefore, it’s important to take action at the appropriate time.
As a business leader, it’s best avoiding breaching a sensitive topic until there’s substantial and credible evidence that an employee is creating an unhealthy work environment that’s determinantal to overall performance.
So, don’t squander your valuable time until it’s clear that others are waiting for you to act. Your decision to intervene at the appropriate time shows strong leadership and can stop the issue before it becomes a larger problem.
Tackle tension head-on
It may seem like it’s easier said than done, but strong leadership is about making difficult decisions and doing things others rather avoid.
That’s why it’s important to dive right into the workplace tension.
It’s best to address the bubbling pressures of conflict proactively before you’re forced to take action.
As uncomfortable or emotional as it may seem, you must confront the issues as soon as it becomes apparent.
Adversity may seem all-consuming, but when you step back and look at the bigger picture, it can be a small issue — especially if you’re willing to address concerns sooner rather than later.
A strong leader is self-aware and has high emotional intelligence that allows him or her to diffuse tensions early and effectively.
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We know your business pulls you from multiple directions. Whether it’s dealing with customers or your employees, some issues may come to you as a surprise. That’s where we come in and provide expert advice, consultation and services so you can operate your business with confidence, saving you time, money and resources.
Please contact us today to learn more here.