How can conflict in the office create change?
Every industry has its range of issues, especially when it comes to issues between coworkers. Although not every day will be perfect in a work setting, there are both pros and cons to having conflict in the office.
According to a recent study conducted by FairWay Resolution Limited, a research company based in New Zealand, close to one-quarter of employees have experienced at least one disagreement or argument in the workplace that has prevented them from doing their job. Although this research is based in New Zealand, the same sentiment can also be echoed in the U.S.
Conflict can cause both a positive and negative effect to take place. Some of the positive aspects of conflict include:
- An influx of ideas: Often, butting heads in the office occurs when coworkers can’t agree on a certain pitch or idea. This may seem like a real issue, but in reality, it is very telling of a specific workforce. Productivity is cultivated by creativity and a willingness to bring forth more ideas than once. Having more ideas than a business knows what to do with can actually be a good thing.
- Enhances commitment: Although conflict can pull workers apart at times, it can also unify their abilities. By involving everyone in the decision-making process, workers will get to know each other on a more personal level, strengthening work practices.
- It’s productive: Conflict means tasks are being worked on in real-time. By facilitating conflict in a solution-driven, constructive environment, more work may be completed than before. As noted by Business2Community, it can also create better understanding of employees within one office.
Despite the positives associated with conflict, conflict should often be resolved as soon as it occurs. This is often left to Human Resources and management teams. Some ways to resolve conflict in the workplace include:
- Brainstorming solutions as a team: If your team is being torn a part by a variety of issues, having them brainstorm their own solutions can help. This will challenge the team to work together as a cohesive unit, as well as think outside the box in terms of long-term improvement.
- Keep communication open: The last thing that should be affected during conflict is communication. Be sure employees understand they can seek help from leaders, as well as each other. By maintaining open channels of communication, issues can be solved quickly and efficiently.
- Setting ground rules: Some instances, language or tone of voice should never be allowed in the office. By creating a safe environment to share information, as well as collaborate, employees can feel as if their voice is heard.
Keep employee development in mind for the best work practices possible within your industry.