Sometimes it’s not what is said that causes workplace conflict, it’s what doesn’t get said. Too often, relatively simple-to-handle issues swell into larger, difficult-to-manage scenarios because they weren’t addressed early on. Regular, constructive, open communication is vital to workplace harmony. Tackle concerns from your team before they turn into larger issues.
Don’t Take It Personally
Every manager strives to have a happy, well-adjusted team, but despite best efforts, you may find an employee comes to you with pressing concerns. The first thing to remember is not to take it personally. That can be hard, especially if the employee is demonstrating a strong emotional response to the issue. You may be the one on the receiving end of the emotional onslaught, but chances are it has little, if anything, to do with you. Try to remain impartial, allowing your employee to vent their frustrations. Many times, giving someone an opportunity to be heard can speed up resolution of an issue.
Let your team members know they can come to you with issues or concerns of any size. Being approachable will keep things moving smoothly in the workplace. One bonus of maintaining an open communication style is that you gain a greater understanding of the day-to-day issues facing your staff.
Regularly Scheduled Meetings
A standing meeting in the weekly schedule allows team members an opportunity to plan out any item they would like to raise with everyone present, fostering a full-spectrum conversation. It’s an excellent opportunity to address things and learn whether or not issues are isolated or widespread.
When employees know they can come to you without fear of retribution or retaliation, you are fostering a ‘safe space’ style of communication. By reassuring your employees that their opinions matter, they know they are valued members of your team.
Workplace conflict is never easy, but it doesn’t have to be destructive. Encouraging open, fair and professional communication in the workplace at every stage will help create a dynamic, in-demand work environment.
If you’re struggling with workplace conflict, need guidance to develop a communication plan, or are looking to add valuable members to your team, let Morris Bixby help make the process easier. Let our team of talented professionals put their experience and passion to work for you!