Getting projects done in a timely manner can be very difficult when all of the players on your team do not get along with each other. Sometimes having differences in opinion in the group can actually be helpful and can make for a better end product as a result of considering different points of view. But often, employee disputes can waste valuable time by causing unpleasant animosity and unnecessary delay as a result of petty disagreements.
Management Development Solutions to Employee Disputes
1. Use Online Personality Tests
Encourage your employees to have a more thorough knowledge of personality types – both their own and those of their coworkers – through online personality tests. Taking such assessments and discussing the results with supervisors and with each other will ultimately help employees to better understand their own communication styles and the communication styles of those they work with, which may make miscommunications less likely.
2. Encourage Cooperation
At your next management development meeting, brainstorm about cooperation-inducing strategies that best fit your specific industry and specific business. Instead of encouraging competition amongst your workers to boost performance, encourage a collegial atmosphere of cooperation that will encourage more pleasant interactions amongst your employees. Even better, try to model the spirit of cooperation that you would like your employees to emulate.
3. Push Independence
Try not to get drawn into the middle of every little employee dispute, which will drain your own limited time and energy. Your employees need to learn how to deal with difficult people, how to navigate office politics, how to compromise, and how to solve problems independently. Let them figure things out for themselves as much as possible, and encourage your employees to be self sufficient in this regard unless they hit a brick wall.
4. Give Education
In addition to educating your employees about different personality types and communication styles through the results of their online personality tests, offer regular seminars about such topics as conflict resolution, office politics, email etiquette, and the like. Such seminars may help smooth troubled employee relationships and also discourage future disputes by setting the tone for a more collegial, more productive office environment.
5. Separate the Parties
As a last resort, if nothing else seems to solve a dispute between two employees, then it is time for you to take action. Such conflicts can drag the whole department down with unnecessary distractions. Discuss strategies to separate the disputing employees with the management development team. Perhaps it will be as simple as assigning the employees each to a different project, or perhaps your team will have other input about the best action to take to get your employees back in business.