Dealing with conflict in a company can take up a lot of management time but it has to be dealt with otherwise you run the risk of having a dysfunctional team.
Research undertaken in the US shows that up to 25% of a manger’s time can be taken up dealing with conflict.
Mike Steinitz, executive director of Accountemps, suggested these six strategies:
Create a company culture where employees can speak their mind. Encourage staff to speak up at meetings and in group projects. Rotate leadership of projects.
Organise community-building events, such as volunteering and charity fundraising opportunities, that help employees get to know and trust each other.
Address a conflict between employees right away, but show empathy and understanding. Demonstrate that it’s a sign of confidence when you’re willing to learn from somebody you disagree with.
Reward positive role models. Dole out praise, promotions, and choice assignments to employees who contribute to a supportive work environment.
Know when to step in. CFOs don’t want to interject every time minor issues arise. Focus on conflicts that jeopardise a group’s output and that lower-level managers cannot settle.
Hire employees with excellent interpersonal skills who fit into the corporate culture. Great employees share a few qualities, including a can-do attitude, right-size ego, and a sense of humour. Periodically refresh your recruiting plan to ensure you’re attracting the right people.
Extract from an article by Sabine Vollmer
—Sabine Vollmer (Sabine.Vollmer@aicpa-cima.com) is a CGMA Magazine senior editor.