How to manage conflicts in the workplace

Monday 12 August, 2013
The best workplace is one where the employees get along, they work together on projects and they produce work in a collaborative, cooperative manner. When two or more colleagues are unable to work together on something, this effects the whole office environment. It's therefore important to deal with internal work conflicts quickly and directly. Have you ever worked with a difficult employee? Was anything done about it? Let OneShift know.  It's never an easy conversation for a manager or team leader to have but there are some steps which can make the process a little easier. Here's how to manage conflicts in the workplace:
  1. Identify who is causing the issue. Sometimes more than one name will be mentioned as the 'source' of the conflict. Be objective, listen to each individual's issues and problems and make a judgment about whose behavior or work attitude is most affecting the group.
  2. Privately ask the individual in person or in an email to meet with you to discuss their potential and ability to work efficiently in a team.
  3. When you meet with them, the individual may be defensive or angry that you have identified them as the source of the issue. Listen to them and then explain what the issue is and how they are contributing to it. Give the evidence but don't mention team member's names. You can also mention the impressions and observations from external workers (including your own opinion).
  4. Let them know your expectations. This may include the original job description, your workplace culture and vision and even the expectations of other colleagues.
  5. Ask the employee how you can both deal with this conflict and ensure that this doesn't happen again. Devise solutions which are both fair and reasonable.
  6. Ensure that they understand that if they are unable to work as part of a team then they may not be able to be involved in further projects and that their role in the company may not be viable.
  7. End by letting them know their qualities and traits (they may be a very efficient workers or perform well on individual projects) and let them know that you hope they can meet the expectations and continue working for your business.
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