How to Manage Internal Conflict in a Business?
May 19, 2014 10:08am CST
Conflicts in business are unavoidable. When people with diverse backgrounds, values, and belief systems collaborate in the workplace, conflict can arise. Co-workers may argue over a potential business venture, or senior management may disagree over the business' mission and vision. The most important consideration in managing internal conflict is the flow and productivity of the business. Conflict can slow productivity to a halt, or create a work environment that is not conducive to employees' top performance. By acknowledging that conflict in the workplace is inevitable, you can begin to get to the root of the problem and make changes to ensure a productive, calm environment for all to work in. 3 Steps to Manage Internal Conflict in a Business: 1. Have a concrete grievance procedure in place. Employees need to know the grievance procedure at your business to reduce conflict. Some conflicts can be professionally handled when a proper grievance procedure is in place. This approach can cut down on in-office gossiping or bullying. Make sure your employees know: where to go when there is a conflict, to whom they should report the conflict, and what the procedure is on tackling the conflict. Having a grievance procedure in place will let your employees know that grievances are handled efficiently and in an appropriate time frame. 2. Create a workplace filled with honesty, integrity, and transparency. Some workplace conflicts can be avoided altogether by the environment of the business and the approach of the business leader. As a business leader, work to develop a workplace that honors honesty, integrity, and transparency. Support employees in voicing their opinions and ideas, but give them an appropriate avenue to do so, such as monthly business meetings. Offer equal opportunities for employees to share opinions and ideas, and allow disagreements to occur when they remain professional. By leading a transparent workplace, employees will have appropriate avenues to discuss ideas and opinions without bringing disagreements to a personal, conflicted level. 3. Don't take sides and leave your personal opinion at the door. No matter what business you work in, there are bound to be personal and political differences within the workplace. When managing internal conflict in a business, personal opinions and political standpoints need to be left at the door. Give all parties involved in the conflict an equal opportunity to voice their concerns, and approach the situation with an unbiased standpoint. By approaching the conflict with no bias, the employees will feel valued and understood, and the conflict itself can be resolved. Some times it takes an outside source to help you develop internal conflict management strategies. At Legacy Business Leaders, business experts assist other business in developing these strategies -