Tension, conflict, fighting, friction, whatever you call it, can have a drastic effect on productivity in the workplace. You’ve probably experienced some workplace conflicts due to deadlines, clashes in personalities, different work methods, power plays and emotional issues. A little healthy competition isn’t a bad thing but working in a volatile atmosphere isn’t good for your agency or your employees.
The best thing to do is nip it in the bud as soon as you are aware of it. First, encourage your employees to work it out. If the conflict persists, listen to both sides individually and don’t play favorites. Identify the issues at hand and get to the source of the conflict. If necessary, refer to your employee handbook. Once a solution is found, you may want to document the incident. Some employees may need time to cool off and in some cases you may want to reevaluate your staff.
You may find that some employees who continue to hold a grudge can’t work it out no matter how much talking you do. There are workplace communication and problem solving training courses available if it comes to that. This problem-solving therapy helps people cope with difficulties in the workplace and teaches them to proactively solve their problems. You may not have the resources or time so once again, you may want to reevaluate your staff.
The worst thing you can do is let these conflicts continue to fester. Employees will spend a lot of time discussing their version and getting people on their side. That time is wasted time. The tension and conflict could lead to bad decisions being made and lowering job motivation due to poor focus. You could lose an employee if one gets fed up and decides to leave because of the conflict. The conflict could lead to sabotage and damage to the business as the employee’s anger grows due to lack of resolution.
Bottom line, get to the bottom of the conflict, speak to those engaged in the conflict and get it resolved before your business is affected.
Vikki Thomas has been working in the insurance industry since 1995. Vikki has worked for several carriers in customer service, quality assurance, underwriting, product management and marketing. Vikki has worked at AccuAgency since 2008.