Conflict resolution is an essential element to a successful management style. As a professional employer organization (PEO) that works with many client companies, Total HR Management has seen firsthand the importance of conflict resolution. Through conflict resolution, a manager can address and ultimately fix potential problems that could undermine a company’s productivity and profitability.
Conflict Resolution Means Prevention
By using the principles behind these three keys to conflict resolution and making them intrinsic to employee management, a manager will highlight prevention in their workplace. The prevention of problems before they become aggravated and fester makes so much sense. Through prevention, you stop a problem from becoming a problem that could limit teamwork and hurt a company’s forward movement.
In truth, nobody wants conflict in the workplace. After all, internal conflict is a hindrance to external success. In light of the many challenges in any industry, ranging from competition to innovation, internal conflict thwarts the weaving of the true fabric of success. By preventing internal conflict, a manager ensures that the focus remains on external success.
Three Keys to Conflict Resolution
Below are three keys to conflict resolution in today’s workplace. Easy to understand and simple to institute, such conflict resolution strategies make a manager’s life easier. As a professional employer organization, Total HR believes the main goal of any PEO is to help our clients work on their business and not in their business.
The three keys to conflict resolution include the following —
Foster Open Communication Across the Board
Managers need to promote healthy discussion and open communication within their teams. When problems remain unexpressed, they tend to fester and grow worse. Of course, it’s impossible for every employee to agree on everything one hundred percent of the time. However, differences of opinion do not have to lead to conflict. Open communication fosters conflict resolution by keeping issues above board before they become problems.
A corporate culture of open communication allows employees to feel comfortable saying what they need to say. While maintaining professional boundaries, such expression often leads to the resolution on its own. When ideas and thoughts are expressed, the result often is positive critical thinking and creative problem-solving.
Encourage Employees to Resolve Conflicts First
It makes sense to encourage employees to first talk about their issues among themselves. When employees resolve conflicts between themselves, they improve the team dynamic. The first sign of tension does not imply that a manager needs to get involved. In many cases, one employee may perceive a conflict while the other employee does not.
Employees need to learn how to resolve conflicts between each other. Such an emphasis on employee-to-employee resolutions has positive long-term implications by fostering an atmosphere of prevention. Often, a simple conversation can smooth things out before it gets serious. However, if employee conflict is getting serious, a manager needs to step in before a small problem becomes a big problem.
Address Employee Conflict Well Before DEFCON One
DEFCON One refers to a defense readiness condition (DEFCON) that is used as an alert posture by the United States armed forces. The DEFCON system prescribes five graduated levels of alert. DEFCON One is the highest level of alert, basically implying that a nuclear exchange is imminent. You never want a nuclear exchange in your office. Thus, managers need to be proactive when dealing with conflict in the workplace. Indeed, just because an employee hasn’t said anything, doesn’t mean there isn’t an issue that needs to be addressed.
If you can cut the tension with a knife whenever certain employees are in a meeting together, then something is wrong. A good manager learns how to “read the room,” thus keeping aware of the mood in the office. Do not allow obvious frustration to blow up into serious conflict. Rather, by making conflict resolution a part of your management style, you can proactively avoid such issues. Indeed, a failure to address rising levels of conflict almost always lead to bigger problems down the road.
Total HR Management Can Help
A focus of Total HR Management’s approach as a professional employer organization is to help our client companies optimize their employee management techniques. By helping you manage your employees more efficiently, we increase your ability to do the business of your business. After all, the goal is to increase productivity and profitability as opposed to allowing intra-office issues to affect the success of your company.
To learn more about how Total HR can help, please call (800) 975-5128 today to set-up an HR audit. We are here to help!
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