5 TIPS FOR BUSINESS OWNERS/ BOSSES TO DEAL WITH CONFLICT IN THE WORKPLACE:
OPEN THE DIALOGUE
Make it known to your employees- both contracted and salary base, the interns, temps, etc. that they have your attention and you as a boss, business owner/ higher up, value their contribution to the company and their feeling of security in the workplace is a priority to you and the business. Create and encourage a culture where employees feel comfortable enough to confide in you. This not only will fill in the blanks for any misconduct taking place, but will also aid in the reduction of the company’s turnover rate.
ACCOUNTABILITY + CONFLICT RESOLUTION
A disciplinary plan needs to be put into effect. If there are not clear consequences and if they are not upheld, the person causing conflict and disrupting the fluidity and security of the workplace will only continue the dysfunctional and disrespectful behavior. Silence and lack of accountability only fuel the fire. The silence of the innocent is just as guilty as the wrath of the immoral.
I read that oftentimes managers (both newer and the more experienced) begin to distance themselves and turn away from problematic employees. Sometimes this is a conscious decision- other times, it may not be. The point being, when conflict arises and an employee exhibits less than professional and respectful behavior, address it and continually communicate with that person. Sit down with them to understate and hear their point of view for the disruption, devise a plan to correct the repugnant behavior and check in regularly to make sure the plan is upheld and the reversion of said behavior does not occur.
SHOW RESPECT WITH YOU FULL ATTENTION
Be available for co-owners, investors, employees, volunteers, etc. to voice concern for another person in the workplace and to confide and share their concerns with you. Do not multitask or rush the person. While I am not encouraging a 4 hour meeting about this, make sure you are creating an environment where others feel as if they are being heard and their words are not falling on deaf ears. Be100% present when meeting with others- especially regarding conflict. They didn’t schedule a meeting with your phone. They scheduled a meeting with you.
ELIMINATE PROBLEMATIC PEOPLE
Go to the root of the problem: the person. If warning, disciplinary plans, and a suspension have not eradicated the issue, it is time to part ways with the person or people decreasing the productivity, security and value of the workplace. Stop making excuses for the co-owner/ business partner, the intern, employee or anyone else contributing to the company. A problem is a problem and if it ongoing, it has been going on for far too long. Enough is enough. Stop making excuses for other people’s poor decisions. This not only looks cowardly, but significantly decreased an individual and/ or the company’s reputation and level of respectability. Cut them loose. They are no longer your responsibility nor your reliability.