Resolving Business Conflicts

Operating a business means you're managing many issues all the time. You might have brought on employees to tackle the daily work of your company without ever thinking that you'd also have to manage their interactions with each other at times. When there's an interpersonal business conflict, you must solve the dispute without damage to either side or your company. Therefore, attempt the following.

Address it Early

Gossip or personal observation might have tipped you off that certain employees had a conflict brewing, but it's natural you'd want to let them sort it out without involving yourself. However, the longer the conflict is allowed to persist, the more angry each person can become. When you finally do step in, the situation could be much more serious. It's smarter to address it early.

Talk Individually First

To allow each party to state their case, don't call them both into your office at first. Pull each person aside on their own so you can hear what they've got to say. Take notes and don't discuss what the other person has said. This will allow you to form early opinions about who may be in the right and how to best address whawt's happening. When you've had some time to gather facts and consider solutions, then you can ask both of them to sit down for a joint discussion.

Follow Up

When you've been able to offer those in conflict solutions or recommendations, you may focus elsewhere. However, it's important to keep tabs on how the situation is progressing. It's possible that the situation deteriorated and more solutions need to be tried; check in every few weeks with each person so that if things turn sour, action is taken.

Talk with Everyone

If the problem between the two people is one that could arise with others in your business, it's wise to remind everyone of company policy and how best to handle such conflicts. Don't wait until you must address the identical situation with more and more employees. You might have a company-wide meeting or speak with managers about raising the issue with their own workers. In fact, if you do see common conflicts happening over and over, it could be time to amend the employee manual or the overall company policy regarding those specific issues.

With these actions, resolving conflicts and reducing the chance of future problems  is possible. In some cases, mediators and other dispute resolution professionals should be contacted to provide a completely impartial solution.