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Dealing with Conflict in the Workplace

Management / 28 Jan 2018

As an employer with a staff of several it is almost inconceivable that there will not be occasions when members of staff disagree with one another. If it is about an external matter such as football teams or politics then the chances are any arguments will be short-lived and there will no detrimental effect on the company or upon the morale of the wider workforce. Where disagreements relate to work matters on the other hand, these if not resolved can fester and even drag in other members of staff. Therefore it is essential that workplace grievances and quarrels are nipped in the bud at the first opportunity.

The first thing to remember is that, if it is your company, ultimate responsibility for defusing conflict rests with you. Because it is your business which will suffer when the atmosphere is toxic and productivity takes a hit as a result. Take ownership of the issue, whatever it may be, and deal with it.

Staff Concerns

If the grievance is with you, or the company, then take a senior member of staff who is likely to be privy to staff concerns to one side and find out what the issues are. It may turn out to be something of little consequence which has been blown out of all proportion, but you can only resolve a problem if you are aware of it. If it is a personality clash or a professional disagreement between two people, first take the time to establish the facts and then speak to the individuals concerned. If the blame clearly lies with one of those people and they are unwilling to do anything to change the situation, disciplinary action may be called for as a last resort.

Discontent and disillusionment have the potential to undo all the hard work that you have put in to building your business. It is essential that any situation which threatens the stability of your workplace is dealt with, and promptly.

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