by George N. Root II
Conflict in the workplace can arise for many reasons. Employees can become frustrated at their stagnant job functions or lack of a career path, or they may feel that management is unable to point the company in the right direction. There are ways to reduce conflict in the workplace that every company should employ to help mitigate potential problems.
According to Business Know How, one of the ways to discourage conflict in the workplace is to create consequences. Employees who want to engage in productive conversation are not looking to create conflict, but employees who cause problems just to create conflict need to understand that those actions will be punished. Work with the human resources department and company legal team to develop a system in which initiating conflict can be punished. Once employees understand that conflict has consequences, they will be less apt to initiate it.
Encourage employees and managers to listen to each other in the course of a conversation to avoid conflict. According to CareerBuilder, conflict in the workplace sometimes can result when two parties are talking to each other, but neither is listening to the points being made. Hold training sessions on how to listen and communicate more effectively. People in the workplace will find that listening rather than arguing helps to get their jobs done more efficiently.
Choose Your Battles
According to “Management Resource Management for the Rest of Us”, it is sometimes prudent to walk away from a potential conflict rather than instigating further discussions. You also can diffuse the conflict by pointing the other party’s attention to a different issue. This may not work as a long-term solution to conflict resolution, but it can prevent conflict long enough to allow you to work on the issue that caused the conflict and prevent future problems.
Open Up Communication
Some employees start conflict because they want to be heard. You can reduce the potential for that kind of conflict by creating an atmosphere of open communication within your company. Encourage managers and executives to leave their doors open to anyone with an issue. Open and effective communication can be a significant deterrent to workplace conflict.