BLOG

Making Workplace Conflict Work for Your Team

admin

0

Workplace conflicts arise often. It’s important to know how to handle them and to recognize the opportunities within them. It’s easy to work past a conflict and then pretend nothing ever happened, but you may be missing valuable opportunities to fine tune your employees’ communication skills and grow your business.

Identify the Conflict

First, you need to know the source of the disruption. Workplace conflicts happen between employees and their superiors, between coworkers, and between employees and customers. The final type requires the most careful attention: you need to be able to defuse a conflict without alienating anyone. One of the golden rules of salesmanship is that it’s okay to lose a sale but not a customer.

Gain an understanding of the situation – often you’ll find that you can defuse a conflict easily if it arose from miscommunication or a small discrepancy.

Pinpoint the Cause

In the sales industry, conflicts arise most often from miscommunication. The wording of a return policy or product specification is ambiguous, an employee misspoke, or something else was lost in translation. It’s important to recognize what type of conflict is happening, but it’s more important to acknowledge why it happened.

When customers complain, they can sometimes pinpoint issues within your business you may have overlooked. Although this is frustrating, ultimately these situations are good things for both the company and its customers. Once you identify the source of a conflict, you can remedy the situation so the customer leaves happy and willing to return, and then you can address the underlying issue to prevent future occurrences.

Ask for Solutions

When two parties butt heads, one of your first steps to resolving the issue should be to ask each party what they want to see happen. When it comes to arguments or disagreements between employees, sitting down with the employees involved can uncover issues you may have overlooked, and then everyone benefits from mediation.

When you’re dealing with customer conflicts, you’ll typically need to make up for their frustrations in some way. This may come in the form of an extra coupon for a future visit, a one-time discount to make up for their lost time, or another similar measure. It’s important to stand your ground in the face of unreasonable customers, but do so respectfully. Even the most grating and disrespectful customers can be boons to your business if you know how to approach them.

Work Toward a Resolution

Once you’ve identified what’s happening, who is involved, and what each party wants to see happen, you can work toward resolving the conflict. Every situation is different, so you’ll have to use your judgment to determine the best course of action. Once you do, make clear each party’s responsibilities going forward.

Workplace conflicts happen all the time in every industry. It’s important that you approach them with a clear head and calm demeanor. Sometimes you’ll solve more than just the immediate problem, and fix a newly discovered issue you never knew you had.
Sources:
http://www.amanet.org/training/articles/The-Five-Steps-to-Conflict-Resolution.aspx

6 Steps to Conflict Resolution in the Workplace


http://www.learningpeace.com/pages/LP_04.htm
http://www.mediate.com/articles/bermanlj3.cfm
http://www.saylor.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/BUS208-5.3.6-Steps-to-Resolve-Workplace-Conflict-FINAL.pdf

Creating a Team-Focused Workplace Culture

admin

0

Workplace culture is a crucial element of any industry. Most modern employees don’t just show up to work for a paycheck – they want to be valued and see the effects of their work as part of a bigger picture. As a leader, you need to foster a positive workplace culture that resonates with your brand identity and company mission statement.

 

How Workplace Culture Impacts Your Business

In the workplace, employees want to know they aren’t easily replaceable and that their employers value the work they do. Fostering a positive workplace culture isn’t just a side project – it has a direct effect on your company’s bottom line. Employee satisfaction and retention are big parts of why workplace culture matters. Your business is only as strong as your weakest employee, and employees who are invested emotionally in their work are rarely weak.

Know Your Brand

Today’s market demands that you stay relevant in a sea of competition. If you’ve had an idea, chances are your competitors have, too. If you make a misstep, your competition is going to see it and capitalize on your failure. Your brand identity plays a large role in your workplace culture: the image you convey to your customers has to resonate with your employees. You should always strive to be the company whose customers wish they could work for you.

Keep Your Team Involved

Creating a cohesive and progressive workplace culture means valuing the input your employees have. Some employees may hesitate to criticize their employers for fear of job security, so it’s important that you convey that you value honesty – good or bad – for the sake of the company as a whole. Make it clear that you will never meet honest feedback and constructive criticisms made in good faith with reprimands or disciplinary actions.

Always take the time to ask your employees how they feel about the work they do, the processes involved, and if they can think of ways to improve day-to-day operations. Your employees view your workplace differently than you do, so it’s important to try to adopt their perspectives when you conceptualize a workplace culture.

Recognize Value

Part of your workplace culture depends on how your employees interact. Look for groups or pairs of employees who bring out the best in each other’s work, and foster those relationships. You should always be looking for ways to improve your business. Your employees are your best resource for doing that. Teamwork happens when employees know what you expect of them and what roles they play in your brand. Make sure your workers know they’re valued, and that the company’s success depends on their personal success.

 

Sources:

http://www.inc.com/peter-economy/5-ways-to-build-an-extraordinary-team-culture.html
http://www.lctmag.com/operations/article/107639/how-to-create-a-team-focused-culture
http://www.forbes.com/sites/groupthink/2013/10/04/how-to-build-a-great-company-culture/#673b42af3ab2
https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/tools-and-samples/toolkits/pages/developingandsustaininghigh-performanceworkteams.aspx
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-jim-taylor/build-a-positive-and-high_b_3659341.html

5 Reasons to Implement Office-Wide Meetings

admin

0

Many organizations (particularly smaller ones) may shy away from all-company meetings. They can be rather costly—not to mention time-consuming. You must have the space to gather your employees and the resources to ensure that they all can hear and/or see your content. Larger firms tend to have conferences that are days long, necessitating refreshments too. There are many benefits to meetings of this caliber, however, and it may be something worthwhile for your enterprise.

You Can Reinforce Company Culture

It’s easy to read about business ideas and just as easy to forget them. Bringing employees together lets them experience the firm’s ideals firsthand. Seasoned employees can help newer hires feel welcome and adjust to the company more effectively. Veterans will feel valued when you give them such a purpose and encourage nurturing attitudes, making for a tighter labor force.

You Can Conquer the Disjointedness of Virtual Businesses

As technology becomes more prevalent in our lives, the workforce is changing with it. Many companies have at least a few employees who contribute from home or other remote locations. Office-wide meetings allow them to meet the people they communicate with every day. These in-person interactions make email and other contact more meaningful in the future. Meetings build bonds, and virtual employees often don’t get this opportunity otherwise.

Employees Can Provide Input

Opinions matter, especially when they come from your staff. It’s always beneficial to know how much of the company supports new decisions, whether the decisions are about name changes or new uniforms. When employees can participate, they’ll be more satisfied with the decisions your business makes. More brains gathered together means a higher chance of coming up with new ideas as well. All-company meetings help everyone consider themselves a true part of the endeavor.

Staff Can Feel More Valued

Making the effort to gather people together makes them feel good. It shows that the company cares enough to bring everyone on board instead of just a select few, such as a council. Add bonding exercises and opportunities for their input, and your meeting is even better. Although smaller organizations inherently don’t have as many issues with dehumanizing workers, seeing faces as real people who matter is better for businesses of all sizes.

All-Company Meetings Unify Goals

Town hall meetings put everyone in the company on the same page. You can ensure that each worker is well informed, but more importantly, you can stress your objectives and plans. Employees attending will know what they’re working toward. This often leaves them better equipped and more willing to pull together to accomplish things.

Gathering an entire company is never cheap. It could cost hundreds, thousands, or millions of dollars, depending on the organization’s scale. The investment, however, could completely revamp your employees’ attitudes and make your firm stronger than ever. Cohesion and satisfaction among your workers is definitely worth the cost.