It’s only natural for people who work closely together to have disagreements. Sometimes, these disputes resolve themselves naturally through collaboration and compromise. In other cases, they continue to grow and become a bigger issue for your team, and that is where you have to step in. As with most employee issues, it’s a good idea to use your business management software to track any complications associated with the dispute and your communications with your team, in case issues arise in the future. Here is a look at some questions business owners and managers often have about employee dispute resolution.
Do I really have to get involved?
For owners and managers, the idea of being distracted by a dispute when you’re trying to work through scheduling, marketing, appointments, and payroll can be frustrating. However, letting conflict go unchecked can have a negative impact on your entire team. You certainly can’t respond to every grumble and moan of every employee, but when a true dispute arises, leaders should intervene. Be a neutral party that can facilitate communication between both sides, and look for ways where compromise can happen. Avoid taking sides, but hold each person involved in the conflict responsible for his or her own actions. Sometimes, simply empowering the people involved in the dispute to act with more autonomy or changing the way your workflow is distributed can put a disagreement to rest.
How can I identify real issues versus personality conflicts?
Some people just don’t mesh. As a leader, managing personality conflicts is not part of your remit. Your work environment should allow people to cooperate together on the job at hand even if they wouldn’t choose to spend time together off the clock. When issues that have some merit cause disputes, however, your intervention is important. The clues may be in your business management software. For instance, combing back over your schedules can show you if one employee is constantly shouldering the burden for another employee who calls out of work excessively or if one employee is at the center of most of your missed or late service calls. Pinpointing and resolving real issues will settle the dispute and build team morale.
How can I reduce future disputes?
Sometimes, it can be helpful to change up your scheduling or how you put your teams together to help smooth relations. The best way to keep disputes under control, however, is to set the tone. Communicate directly, respectfully, and clearly with your team, so that they replicate that behavior when dealing with each other. Enforce rules without discrimination so that employees see that you don’t take sides in disputes and have the same standards and expectations for everyone.
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