Ways to Identify Conflict in the Workplace and How to Take Action

Everyone’s been in a fight at least once in their life. Life wouldn’t be without a bit of conflict; whether it be about something simple or severe, everyone has experienced arguing with someone else—and the same goes for your employees.

Conflicts in the workplace are not avoidable. No matter how many strategies you implement to improve employee productivity and morale, there can still be arguments. Everybody has different personalities, attitudes, and beliefs which is why they’re bound to clash with each other at some point in time.

The Effects of Workplace Conflict

This doesn’t mean you have to accept it and let them argue, there’s always a solution. Workplace conflict is bad for business—it can have significant adverse effects on your company, such as:

  • Low productivity
  • Poor mental health
  • Awful company culture
  • Damages workplace relationships

Even if you hope for the best, the chances are that your team members will have a few quarrels with each other. However, it’s still your job to put out the fire as soon as you know about the situation.

Suppose a conflict ever occurs in your workspace. In that case, it’s best to resolve it right away and deal with the parties involved to improve employee productivity and morale and to avoid your business operations from suffering.

Signs of Conflict

Conflicts at work don’t usually involve screaming, throwing punches, or pulling each other’s hair. They’re much more subtle and can be more difficult to notice.

To avoid letting disagreements from worsening and relationships turning sour, spot these signs of workplace conflict to deal with it early on:

  • Decrease in productivity
  • Issues in quality of work
  • High turnover rate
  • Increase in absenteeism
  • Changes in interaction with others
  • Formation of cliques
Successfully Handling Conflicts at Work

Resolving workplace conflicts is more challenging than it sounds. If you’re not careful, attempting to sort out an argument between employees might make things worse and could even get you involved!

Conflicts are a delicate matter, so it’s important to learn how best to approach them when the situation arises. Read through our guide below so you can efficiently resolve any disagreements between your team members and improve employee productivity and morale:

  1. Determine the Source Big things always grow from small beginnings. Figure out the cause of the conflict to grasp how the situation developed into what it is now. Meet with all parties to learn about each other’s perceptions and opinions. This will help improve employee productivity and morale and make it easier to reach a mutual understanding.
  2. Talk in a Safe Space It takes honest communication to solve problems peacefully. Invite each party to a private and safe area where they can air out their thoughts and opinions. Ensure that you are free from any external factors that can aggravate them so that they can both discuss their issues without any problems. Be positive and assertive; encourage them to share their views in a civil manner. Give each party equal time to talk, set ground rules, and listen attentively to what each of them has to say. You can even take notes, so you can better articulate their thoughts and figure out a solution afterward. This conversation can significantly improve your employees’ productivity and morale.
  3. Investigate the Situation After their conversation, don’t let out a verdict just yet. Remember, you need to look at the big picture. After listening to the conversation, try to find out more and dig deeper—talk to other employees involved to find any underlying causes.
  4. Find a Solution Together Once you have further investigated the situation, it’s time to sit down with both parties to discuss what you should do to resolve the conflict. Explore every option there is that everyone can agree with and then identify the responsibilities each one must uphold so that this never happens again.
Consult an Expert

Conflicts are a tricky thing to handle, but if you follow the steps above, they’ll be much easier to resolve. Once you’ve reached a solution, don’t assume that it will never happen again! Practice preventative measures and reach out to a leadership consultant to avoid these situations and improve employee productivity and morale.

Business and Management Consulting

Are you having trouble resolving workplace conflicts? I, Raghu Chittamalla, can help you with your predicament! With over two decades of technical and entrepreneurial experience, I can offer business solutions to help improve employee productivity and morale, create successful strategies, and advise on how to best manage your company. Let’s work together today!

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