Building a strong culture can positively impact nearly every aspect of a company, including recruiting top talent, improving employee engagement, boosting productivity, and increasing revenue.
There are many things you can do to create a great culture. A strong focus on developing your people, providing opportunities for team building, making sure people have a strong sense of purpose in their work, and leading with integrity are all important in building a strong foundation for a positive culture.
Another action you can take to enhance culture is to teach your people how to effectively resolve conflicts. Conflicts are a natural part of any organization, but when not handled effectively conflicts can create a toxic work environment which can lead to a decline in productivity, morale, and job satisfaction. When conflicts are resolved effectively, it can help improve company culture, employee engagement, and collaboration.
Here are a few strategies you can use to help your team resolve conflicts.
Create a Strategy
Managers should have a conflict management strategy in place – think about it as the rules of the game when it comes to addressing conflict. This way, people know exactly how to behave and have a process to follow when conflict arises. Training your people in conflict management is an effective way to help them handle problems themselves.
Encourage Open Communication
Create an environment where employees can voice their opinions and concerns freely without fear of being judged or criticized. When employees feel comfortable sharing their thoughts, they are more likely to collaborate and work together effectively.
Don’t Avoid Conflict
Conflict avoidance is a common issue in company cultures. Most people want to be liked and may tend to avoid conflict because they feel arguments or disagreements will create tension with coworkers. Avoiding conflict can make matters worse and negatively impact your culture. Coach people to deal with conflict head-on and not ignore it in hopes that it will go away.
Lead with Empathy
Create a good environment for people by being approachable and demonstrating empathy in times of conflict. People will be more likely to come to you for guidance when facing conflict if you are open and show that you care about what they are going through.
Bring Both Parties Together to Discuss
Ask questions to understand the issue and listen carefully to both sides of the story. Ask thoughtful follow-up questions and work to understand the root cause of the conflict.
Encourage both parties to brainstorm solutions to resolve the conflict. Provide guidance and support as needed. It’s important to ensure that everyone involved has a say in the resolution process.
Evaluate the Solutions
After you brainstorm possible solutions, evaluate each solution’s strengths and weaknesses. Help identify solutions that address the root cause of the conflict and have the potential to resolve the issue long-term instead of just a one-time fix.
Implement the Solution
Once you’ve selected the best solution, it’s time to implement it. Clearly communicate the solution to both parties and set expectations for how it will be implemented. Ensure that everyone understands their roles and responsibilities.
As a manager, it's essential to follow up with both parties after the conflict has been resolved. Check in to see how they're doing and if any further support is needed. This helps to ensure that the resolution is long-lasting and effective.
Effective conflict resolution is crucial for creating a positive work environment and culture. Helping people work together and identify solutions to resolve conflict can create a more harmonious work environment that benefits everyone.