Conflict Within Your Team
This month, we've talked about how you can collaborate with others when there is a conflict. As we've repeated many times this month, conflict resolution STARTS with you, but it's not just about you or just about how your business operates. There are other parties involved. This week we want to focus on how your business can be prepared to work with your team when there is a conflict. Here are a few tips to get you started:
* Have your policies and procedures documented. An employee handbook can go a long way in making sure that your team understands what is expected of them. When employees know what is expected there is often less conflict in the results. And when there is conflict it's a lot easier to hold them accountable if you have clear expectations.
* Have a system for handling personnel issues and make sure your management team is trained on the system. Your system should include steps to check assumptions, ensure that the business has prepared the employee for success, and work toward an action plan for the employee to follow. If you don't have a system in place, take a look at this document: Employee Issues.
* Train in conflict management. Don't expect your managers to know how to handle conflict without training. This month's articles will be a great training resource for you to use in your business. Look for it to appear in our Business Insight Library in February or ask your business coach for a PDF copy. Also, don't be afraid to have any team member read last week's article before discussing a conflict. We have a PDF version tailored for employee conflicts here.
* Use a 3rd party when needed. A facilitator can go a long way when there is a conflict that has deep roots. Owners and managers can act as a facilitator if there are conflicts between team members. If you as the owner are personally involved in a conflict with a team member you might consider a third party facilitator to help guide the conversation. It can help all parties gain a fresh perspective. In addition, sometimes, employees are more willing to discuss the true conflict with someone who is outside of the company.