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Handling Conflict Amongst Your Employees: 4 Tips for Business Owners

Handling Conflict Amongst Your Employees: 4 Tips for Business Owners

Running a business takes a lot of juggling. Between taking care of financial functions, managing your staff, and generally making sure that everything is running smoothly, there’s little time or patience left to deal with conflicts and other issues in your business. But unfortunately, conflict is something that’s pretty much unavoidable, and you’re going to run into it at some point. Being prepared and knowing what to do is a good way to make sure that you handle it quickly and efficiently when a problem does arise. Here are a few tips to help you out.

Hire a Lawyer

First of all, it’s never a bad idea to be in touch with a good labor lawyer, whether you’re an employer or an employee. Running a business means that there will always be legal implications looming, especially when conflict arises. Look into the top national labor law attorneys for employers to help you find someone to manage the legal side of your company, so that if things go sour amongst your staff base, you’ll know who to talk to.

Create Open Communication

We all need to be able to express ourselves and talk about what’s going on. Open communication in the workplace is crucial, especially when it comes to teams working together. Make sure that your staff feel comfortable talking to you about what’s going on in their work lives. Be willing to listen to their problems and complaints and offer help and advice where they need it. This will set you up to be their go-to when they’re unhappy, instead of going straight to their lawyers.

Schedule Team Building Activities

Get your employees comfortable and friendly with one another. Even small businesses should use team building activities to help improve communication and build respect within their staff base. These could be the standard outdoor activities and retreats, or you could keep things casual with a happy hour drink after work every couple of weeks to keep everyone on the same page. This will help to limit conflicts and make it easier to deal with them when they do arise.

Set Procedures and Follow Them

Of course, no amount of team building activities or open communication with the boss can completely eliminate the potential for conflict and disagreements, so you’ll need to be prepared to handle them anyway. This is where it becomes important to set a standard operation procedure for every function and factor in your business, including workplace conflicts. Your procedure could involve your employees submitting a verbal complaint, followed by a formal grievance letter if they are unhappy with something or someone in the office. Your internal procedures will give both you and your employees confidence that issues can and will be handled quickly and professionally.

Final Thoughts

Building a strong team and preventing conflict as far as possible is your main goal when it comes to management, but it’s good to be prepared and stay cool, calm, and collected when somebody starts behaving in less than favorable ways.

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by Rebecca Jones // Contributor to Businessing Magazine.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.