With people spending so much time at work, arguments are bound to happen occasionally. But in many cases, the feud could’ve been avoided altogether.
Arguments between employees can lead to increased turnover, decreased productivity and, in its worst form, actual violence.
Another effect: a divided workforce — if other employees take sides.
But savvy managers ensure workplace disagreements don’t escalate to the point of all-out arguments by following these steps:
1. Put precedence on personality in job interviews. Of course, a prospective employee’s resume is important. But many times, employers don’t put enough weight on a candidate’s personality. Even the most-skilled workers can pose a problem if they have confrontational — or anti-social — personalities.
2. Avoid playing favorites at all costs. Staffers become resentful when they see co-workers receiving preferential treatment of any kind. One area in particular to watch out for: if some employees get a pass on breaking minor rules.
3. Let ’em know your door is always open. Many employees are afraid to report problems they are having with c0-workers for fear of retribution. So make it clear that employees can talk with you confidentially about any concerns they are having.
Another option: Setting up a system where employees can let you know about their problems anonymously. But be careful: Anonymity lends itself to extra harsh criticisms.
Readers, what does your company do to avoid arguments in the workplace? Let us know in the Comments section.