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?
Infighting or team conflict in an organization is not uncommon. Studies show about 85% of employees around the world deal with conflicts at work. No work culture is a utopia! It happens a lot in Washington, D.C., and governmental conflicts can cost economies billions. Massive egos, rampant miscommunication, and even flat out malicious intent can pop up. Managers need to get involved and resolve not just external fires.
So you have infighting on your team and you got to get a handle on it 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 CULTURAL NORMS
You can get conflicting employees on the same page by bringing them back to your organization’s cultural beliefs. Cultural 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 favourites. 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 to look at what you’ve done (or not done) when the team is engaged in civil war. 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 make each employee feel more valued.
Team 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.
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