Managers often have to deal with conflict in the workplace --it's an unavoidable fact of life. Understanding the types of conflict present in the typical workplace, and determining effective methods for resolving conflict, help to establish strong leaders and successful organizations. This helps to improve an organization's bottom line and productivity. Several simple and effective tools are available for recognizing and resolving conflict that can be adopted regardless of the size of your organization.
Conflict within an organization can fall into many categories. This includes conflict caused by cultural diversity, communication obstacles, employee absenteeism, wrongdoing, lack of a clear mission or goals, and/or poor leadership. Conflict is sometimes also caused by employees who are poorly motivated to do their jobs or carry out their roles. Uncovering the exact cause of conflict is necessary before resolution attempts can be successful within an organization.
Sometimes conflict is caused by leadership weakness or poor communication style. In instances like this it is critical that managers work with employees to clearly communicate goals, the corporate vision, mission and other directives. Sometimes a participative leadership style helps to resolve conflict efficiently by allowing employees an opportunity to contribute to corporate goals and objectives. Managers must also work to embrace conflict and find solutions that are effective. When conflict is present among employees, it is imperative that managers help the employees to address it efficiently and effectively between themselves, with their oversight.
Often, conflict is a direct result of employee cultural differences and diversity. This can lead to miscommunication and differences in the way employees relate to one another. Employees may have differences of opinion with regard to the way they believe an organization should work toward common goals and objectives. Holding diversity trainings, corporate morale boosting events like picnics or brown bag lunches, and other programs to help employees interact with one another and share similarities in a positive setting will help resolve conflict. Employees should focus on the goal and mission of the company to help find commonalities rather than focus on differences.
Growth and Development
Providing growth and development opportunities for employees challenges individuals who feel they are going nowhere in the company. Sometimes conflict is simply the result of employees thinking that they are not recognized or employees being bored with the company. If workers have a mission and goal and are being cross-trained in many areas of the company, they are more like to feel satisfied and committed to corporate objectives. They are less likely to engage in conflict and more likely to engage in team building events.
Aanya Rose has been writing since 1998. Her work has appeared in "ADDitude," "Curl," "Diabetes Alternatives," "Fitness," the "Healing Path" and more. She has served as a channel manager for various websites and worked in consultation and training. Rose holds a B.S. and Ph.D.