5 Effective Strategies to Resolve Team Conflict
You can be the greatest manager with employees who respect you and follow your feedback in order to be good at their jobs. Consider this nightmare scenario:
What if they don’t respect each other? What if they’re feuding with one another?
Conflict in an organization is not uncommon. Studies show about 85% of employees around the world deal with conflicts and infighting at work. No work culture is a utopia! It happens a lot in Washington, D.C., and governmental conflicts can cost economies billions. Just think of what it costs for your company (hint: it’s more than money)!
Massive egos, rampant miscommunication, and even flat out malicious intent can pop up. Managers need to get involved and resolve not just external fires.
You need to get a handle on the conflict before your team falls prey to the following ills:
- Morale and motivation decline
- Employee turnover
- Potential lawsuit
Yeah, you don’t want any of that happening on your watch. Use these five strategies to resolve team infighting.
GET AHEAD OF FURTHER CONFLICT
Engage all the involved employees to resolve the issue over a conversation or series of them. Each minute that passes is another minute the water boils over. You can meet the employees collectively, or depending on the severity of the issue, separately.
ENCOURAGE TEAM COMMUNICATION
Conflict occurs because of severe miscommunication or lack of it. Get your employees into a comfortable space to communicate with one another to further get the issue resolved. As a team unit, they have to be able to co-exist and work together, salty feelings and all.
REFER TO CULTURE NORMS
You can get conflicting employees on the same page by bringing them back to your organization’s culture beliefs. Culture norms remind them of your expectations. So a great work environment, for example, has happy employees dependent on relationships mostly with coworkers in terms of team building activities and fostering a collaborative spirit.
SEEK A MEDIATOR (USUALLY YOUR HR REP)
Calling for aid from the outside isn’t always used for escalation, but to further remedy the situation. Your human resources representative’s presence alone also can remove any notion you might be playing favorites. While quelling conflict is your responsibility, you do still have to manage your other employees. Human resources exist to take this task off your plate when needed.
LOOK AT YOURSELF
Your team reflects you and the organization’s values, goals, your leadership style and your level of communication. You have look at what you’ve done (or not done) when the team is engaged in conflict. A great starting point for how you manage and lead is ensuring you promote a positive environment and then also engage your team by sharing responsibilities that makes each employee feel more valued.
Conflict can be manageable when you employ these five strategies. You don’t want to sit by thinking infighting just handle itself. If you’re the high quality leader I think you are, then getting involved early (and bringing in HR) will be an awesome display of leadership and management in a crisis.
Denis Coleman is the founder and CEO of Work Compass, a cloud staff performance collaboration software platform that helps teams align their efforts with strategic goals and continuously improve performance. Frustrated with the disconnect between strategy setting and day to day execution and the lack of tools available to managers to help them be great at their most important function …. Aligning their teams activities with strategic goals and actively managing for high performance Denis spent over 5 years researching strategy execution and performance management practices before founding Work Compass to create a software solution. Denis has held senior roles in Ireland, Czech Republic and North America with high performing electronics manufacturing and professional services organisations for more than 12 years. Denis has worked as Finance Director responsible for €800 million in annual revenues for Flextronics International, Key Account Manager responsible for annual revenues of more than €600 million for Dovatron International and Management Consultant for BDO one of Europe’s most successful professional services providers.