Conflicts in the workplace will arise from time to time. And when you run your own business and have a team working for you, then it’s up to you to deal with those conflicts. No matter how wisely you choose your employees, they won’t always get along. It’s only natural that disagreements will happen when people work side-by-side five days a week.
Dealing with these conflicts isn’t always easy. While small disagreements can be worked out between the people themselves, bigger issues may need your input. So, how do you go about sorting out conflicts between your staff members?
Take things seriously
If someone comes to you with a complaint about a fellow employee, you should never shrug it off or tell them to deal with it themselves. This is happening during working hours and it’s important to take all conflicts seriously. Don’t make light of the situation or treat complaints as if they are silly. You want your employees to remain happy while working for you. When conflicts arise, people stop feeling comfortable in the workplace and are therefore less productive.
Don’t decide who’s in the right and who’s in the wrong. Picking sides isn’t the answer. If you choose to believe one employee over another, that employee will soon lose respect for you. You need to sit with both parties and be an unbiased mediator. Stop things from getting heated and encourage people to speak freely about how they feel. Listen to what everybody has to say and don’t interrupt them.
You’re the boss, so it’s important that you are in the room while those involved talk through their issues. Everything that happens at your company is your business, including all disputes.
Don’t leave without a solution
If you let the people involved walk away without reaching a solution, the situation will only worsen. Even if you have to spend valuable working hours sorting the whole mess out, it’s better than letting a hostile work environment develop. If either side feel as though they haven’t been properly heard or that satisfactory action isn’t being taken, they may end up seeking legal assistance. Ideally, you want all involved to walk away feeling as though their points have been considered and the matter is resolved.
You want your employees to be happy. A content staff works harder, is more productive and cares more about the work they produce. If people are unhappy at work, they may lose interest or stop trying to do their best.