Even the most peaceful and positive workplace can be subject to disputes between employees or employers and their employees. While some people might just never like each other, there are effective conflict resolution strategies that company managers can use to settle disputes. The following are five ways that you, as a company manager, can quell the quarrels going on within the workplace.
1. Remain Neutral
Take a lesson from global peacekeepers and remain neutral. You taking a side could result in one or both parties getting even more upset, and should you become upset, tensions will be even more difficult to resolve. Keeping calm and staying neutral allows you to guide your employees to a more successful and satisfying outcome for everyone involved.
2. Advocate Clear and Thorough Communication
Many conflicts result from lapses in communication. As a company manager, you not only set the standard for clear and thorough communication, you have to reinforce it. It is okay for you to speak to both parties together, ask clarifying questions, and record the full story from everyone involved. Then it is up to you to communicate back with your employees, letting them know what you expect of them regarding the resolution of the conflict.
3. Encourage Advanced Education
When you study management (even in fields such as engineering management), you learn how to work with a diverse population of employees. While not all employees will want to advance their education, it can help them learn more about the trade and about how to work cohesively with one another. You can set the standard by advancing your own education and using what you learned in the workplace, especially when you’re mitigating disputes.
4. Come Up With Changes Everyone Can Agree To
One of the hardest parts of conflict resolution in the workplace is setting boundaries and coming up with changes that all sides can agree to adhere to. These changes should be discussed with all parties and not place too much weight on one side’s argument since that can still breed hostility. Keep it fair and universally applicable to everyone in the company, but make sure you have conditions in place in case the conflict continues.
5. Remain Firm but Fair
Let all parties know that you are not picking sides and will not pick sides in the future. Remind them of the changes that everyone is agreeing upon and what the conditions are going to be if the conflict continues.
Don’t just enforce the rules and conditions; abide by them yourself. You can foster positivity and productivity with a firm-but-fair attitude and without taking sides. Set the bar high for your employees and remind them that you are confident in their abilities to resolve any conflict that comes up in the future.