Building a strong team helps your business in many ways. You can ensure people working in your company work with harmony and cohesiveness. However, there can be times when the management might face a conflict situation between two teams or two individuals.
Team building and conflict management are the top two skills necessary for a manager. To maintain business growth and sustainability, managers need to ensure the team is communicating and having no issues among themselves.
So, how do you resolve any conflicts or issues within your team? We will dive into the steps for conflict management to help your business grow. Let's start by knowing the common reasons leading to a conflict.
Reasons Leading to a Conflict in Teams
Teams combine individuals with multiple backgrounds and mindsets, which can have completely different perspectives about different things. It can create a rift between individuals and lead to a full-blown conflict. Therefore, a manager needs to have the best conflict management skills to deal with it quickly.
As per a report by Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), there was an increase in workplace political volatility in 2020. The rise in workplace political volatility is significant if we look at the volatility increase in 2016, which was around 26%.
And there were many reasons behind the political volatility, such as social unrest, pandemic, etc. As a result, it led to an increase in stress and anxiety levels of individuals, creating tensions and conflicts within a workplace.
However, workplace conflicts are with us even before 2020. So what are the common reasons behind it? Below we cover some reasons leading to a conflict between teams or individuals, regardless of the external factors.
- A weak culture where employees are usually competing with each other
- Changes in the overall procedures or the structure, such as acquisitions, layoffs, etc
- Contrasts in personalities
- Frequent changes in the management
- Lack of proper communication
- No proper workflow for day-to-day operations
- Team members with different racial backgrounds put into a team without giving them adequate awareness about diversity and multiculturalism in the workplace
- The hierarchy of the management is not clear
Besides these reasons, anything happening outside the workplace can increase stress and anxiety among people. Thus, it can impact the overall team and create more conflicts. Therefore, managers are responsible for maintaining a peaceful and healthy working environment.
Strategies to Resolve a Workplace Conflict
No matter how positive the work environment is, there is still a possibility of a workplace conflict arising. As a manager or business owner, you would want to resolve conflicts as soon as possible. Prolonged conflicts can hamper business growth as they can increase labor turnover and other problems.
Conflicts are unavoidable, but how the company handles them tells how good the overall environment is. Let's go over some strategies you can incorporate to help you with team building and conflict management.
Promote Relevant Agreements
In a conflict, the most important thing you need to do is work on a temporary solution that is acceptable to both parties. These small solutions can help you reach a concession and prevent a small conflict from turning into a big one.
Small agreements play a vital role in conflict management. Therefore, you need to promote any such relevant agreements which can be helpful for your business. And if you can't handle it and come up with such small solutions, you can always take the help of a neutral third party.
Show Your Authority
Sometimes there can be a huge conflict that is beyond the team's control and can lead to lasting damage. It is where you would need to exert and show your authority to make the final decision that is in the best interests of the team and the company.
Your authority can help in bringing an end to the conflict and can help your employee move forwards. However, you have to be cautious when making a decision. It should not impact your team's morale in an adverse and lead to further conflicts. Moreover, you should avoid exerting authority when it is inappropriate.
Conduct Regular Meetings
The best way to avoid conflicts is to have regular team meetings. It can help you focus on important issues and address them before they turn into a conflict. Moreover, regular sessions and meetings will help in team bonding, reducing the chances of any conflicts arising.
Conducting a meeting allows you to get an insight into the team's mindsets. You can find out about their views, and they can freely ask any questions they have in their minds. To summarize, holding meetings can help you in many ways.
Hold One-on-one Meetings
Besides team meetings, you should also let your employees come to you for discussion. It will ensure you discuss all the concerns with the relevant person and avoid conflicting with each other. Additionally, you will also get constructive feedback which can help you grow.
Empower your Workforce
If you give your employees the right communication tools, it will bring down any chances of conflicts. The one thing you need to address is how your employees respond to any conflict situation. If they can use their emotional intelligence skills to resolve any issue there and then only, it can be great for the company.
However, if they don't have the relevant skills, you might want to come in and mediate to control the situation. Therefore, you should empower your employees to respond to conflicts accordingly.
Other Strategies to Avoid Conflicts at the Work Place
One of the best ways to resolve any conflict at the workplace is to avoid it in the first place. As a manager or business owner, you might want to keep an eye on a few changes that can give you a hint regarding a possible outcome.
Some situations indicate there is a chance of conflict between teams or individuals. Therefore, if you can watch out for the following indications at the workplace, you can get the two parties involved to work on a solution:
- If there is a drop in the overall team or individual's productivity which can impact the work progress or quality
- Keep an eye on the labor turnover rate, and if it seems too high, ask your HR department the possible reasons for it
- If any employee takes unusual time off from work, you need to discuss with them any issues they are facing in their professional or personal life
- The overall morale of the team is low, and there is an overall negative environment among your team members
Also, a rising number of complaints indicate the possibility of numerous conflicts coming your way. You should not ignore them and let employees deal with it themselves. It is imperative to step in and look into matters yourself rather than relying on your employees.
Moreover, if you have a diverse team, you should train your team to increase their awareness and unity around common ideas and other focal points.
Adopting the right strategies can help your business go in the right direction, leading to growth. Therefore, you should use the strategies above for team building and conflict management. Detecting possibilities that can lead to conflicts can help you manage your employees more efficiently.