As a manager, how full is your plate at work? More than likely, it’s so full that you barely have time to complete all your tasks each day. Like most managers, you probably have a fair amount of others’ work to do, too.
If there’s anything that can complicate an already-heavy workload, it’s a contentious workforce. Employees that can’t get along can be the bane of their manager’s existence. They add stress to every situation and make work and life in general much harder than it needs to be.
You don’t have to be a victim to employees who argue with and complain about one another. Instead, you can facilitate workforce harmony by putting a few tips into action.
3 Tips for Helping Your Employees Get Along
#1 — Train employees in conflict management – Most companies offer employee training, but not all organizations train their workers in conflict management. It’s more common for managers, not non-management employees, to be trained in this subject. However, something magical happens when you teach workers to fight their own battles: you no longer are their primary source of conflict resolution. Can you just imagine the amount of time you’d have on your hands if your employees handled even 25% of their own conflicts? Free up your time by providing all workers with conflict-management training that provides education about generational differences.
#2 — Lead by example – Whether you know it or not, your employees very much take behavioral cues from you. Even if they don’t like you, they still look to you for guidance, especially in the areas of teamwork, conflict management, etc. ERC’s article 6 Ways to Help Employees Get Along states, “Managers and leaders set the tone for team interactions by what they say or do when conflict or problems emerge between their employees, how they manage conflict with their own peers, and what behavior they tolerate. If managers act passive-aggressive, disrespect fellow employees, or do not directly deal with conflict, employees will follow their lead.”
#3 — Promote friendships – We all know that the workplace is for work, not play. However, when there is no value placed on professional friendships, the stage is set for discord. Simply giving employees a little time and opportunity for socializing can make a world of difference in the amount of conflicts you see each week.
Are you personally showing employees how to diffuse and resolve conflict? Do you give workers time and opportunities to build relationships? Is conflict-management training available to all of your employees? If not, these tips will help you build a peaceful, competent, mature workforce.
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