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If you are running a business, you would be coming across employees that just don’t go well together. It can be a several reasons. Their personalities, views, opinions, political outlooks, or any of the number of different factors.
Where it started as some heated debates, it has now transformed into full-on arguments. The problem is that it has become quite common and is affecting the other staff and you can no longer tolerate it. Here’s what you can do to resolve such conflicts. To reduce the negative effects, and possibly turn it into harmony among the involved employees.
Why are they clashing?
Your first instinct would be to resolve the conflict, and rightly so. But the devil’s in the detail. Investigate the nature of the argument to successfully resolve it.
Start by looking into that whether the clash is related to the “equal employment for all” scenario. Is their harassment involved? Sometimes, the harassment might not be the intent but how the behavior is perceived. Educate yourself and the employees on the company’s policy in such cases.
Once, you have ruled out harassment, you can explore other reasons. Are the employees’ working methods a bother to the other? Or is it due to the stress of the work or environment?
Give them time to work it out themselves.
Mistakes and arguments are bound to happen in the workplace. This does not mean that you get involved and worsen the drama. Your involvement might send the message that you are playing favorites. Give your employees a chance to work out their matters themselves. After all, you are their boss and not their mother.
By letting them solve their own issues, you are expecting them to behave like grownups. It shows your respect for them. If you have to get involved, you can provide little pointers and possible solutions. You can also use the influence of your power and let them know of the consequences. That’s what’s power is for, right? Besides, you might even find yourself having a little fun too. Nothing wrong there when it’s for the right reasons.
What you can do.
Employee disputes can infect the entire workplace and ruin the company’s reputation. This will stress your staff and affect their productivity. Therefore, you shouldn’t ignore it for a long while. If you are giving the concerned party time to resolve their own conflicts, you should still always be wary of their situation. Here’s what you can do in a disputed situation to obtain a quick resolution.
· Listen to both sides. Dismiss the gossips and try to carry out the process privately and only among concerned parties.
· Ask for every party’s recommended solution. Remember communication is the key.
· Get to the root of such behavior. And clarify the solution and consequences for every party involved regardless of position or tenure.
· Be objective in your decision. Dismiss emotions and evaluate based on facts.
· You can also involve an HR professional in your solution to the matter.
· Refer to the employee handbook to find a resolution in compliance with the company policy.
· Reorganize teams if you think that might solve the problem.
· Don’t rule out giving a “cool off” time to concerned parties.
· And finally, write up the incident report in detail for future references. It would help you recognize the repeated offenders.
Employees would often engage in some playful banter in the workplace. You can join in too. But be careful not to disrespect and stop before things get worse. Sometimes, they will. But you just have to try your best to handle it accordingly. Every now and then the conflict resolution might not end in an agreement. You can always agree to disagree and move on.