Workplace tension between employees can be difficult and uncomfortable to manage, but ignoring them will only lead to the situation worsening. Harmony between staff is key to a positive work environment, as disputes between employees will often affect everybody, not just those directly involved. Discord can disrupt productivity, make an awkward environment for team members and increase stress levels. Identifying areas that can be improved and effectively managing issues will get your workplace harmonious in no time.
Acknowledging that the conflict exists at an early stage can prevent the situation from getting worse. Being open and honest with your employees can encourage open communication from the employees in return. Recognising the conflict on an authority level could also let the employees acknowledge there is an issue that they should work towards resolving.
Define the problem:
Communicate with the affected employees to understand the problem and see if any solutions are available. Acknowledge the interests and emotions of both parties and question them about the issue and the impact it is having on work and relationships.
Encourage them to work it out:
It would be ideal for the employees to communicate openly and resolve the conflict themselves as mature and professional workers. You provide guidance points for them such as suggesting one-on-one meetings between those involved.
Identify resolution points:
Finding areas of agreement and problem-solving through generating possible alternatives can help resolve the dispute. Determine what necessary actions should be taken, and ensure that the involved parties agree on the resolution points.
It can be helpful to schedule a follow-up meeting with the affected employees after a few weeks to assess how they are going and if the solutions are working. This allows for any further communication and problem-solving to take place.