How can you prevent or handle business disputes between employees?
A successful business is not always run by those who get along and agree on everything. Like any kind of relationship, relationships between employees can involve internal disagreements and arguments. These disputes can be caused by various circumstances, clashes in personality or simply a bad day. They are also inevitable. When it comes to a major dispute within the work place, the situation could quickly escalate if not handled well.
Serious disputes could cause harm to the management or organization itself. In a worst-case scenario, a dispute would be brought to court to resolve. This could cost time, money, relationships and possibly reputations. While this may be necessary in some cases, working with those involved to prevent the dispute from going that far can be beneficial for both employees and employer.
Ways to help reduce or resolve conflict
Some steps your company can take to minimize conflicts or resolve disputes may include:
- Communication and conflict training
Taking preventative measures with new employees or refreshing current employees on conflict training can help avoid destructive interactions. Communication is important in any business and a miscommunication or lack thereof can cause arguments or tension. Requiring training on conflict resolution can also help minimize the number of people who need to get involved in an argument, especially if it is something that is not serious or does not need intervention from management.
- Team building activities
Ice breakers or activities outside of the office with co-workers may sound like an uncomfortable experience for some employees. However, these can give everyone a chance to know their co-workers outside of a work space. This can give employees a chance to build relationships with those they might connect with, and employees can potentially learn to communicate with those they may not get along with as well.
- Third-party resolution
You or your management may not be successful in helping to resolve a dispute. Depending on the situation, those in management may not be the right people for the employees to speak with. Having an option for third-party resolution can give those involved a chance to work with someone who is not part of the conflict or the organization. Offering this as a suggestion may also encourage them to resolve the issue before a third person is brought in and things escalate further.
Disputes in your business are not always avoidable. Proper training and resources for your employees can help create a positive work environment and reduce chances of employee conflicts. Knowing what steps to take if the situation is serious or cannot be worked out between those involved or with management can help prevent disputes from unnecessary escalation.