Workplace culture impacts issues or situations that may create conflict between employees and teams. Some office cultures focus on task-oriented conflicts like disagreements over goals, resources, or methods.
Others focus on relationship-based conflicts like disagreements over personalities, emotions, or values. After all, employees don’t all need to be the best of friends, but they do need to learn to work with people with differing viewpoints and ideas.
Conflict can be a positive experience that helps elicit change, but many organizations see it as negative and destructive. Ultimately, how your organization looks at conflict will shape the experience, turning something often considered negative into a chance for everyone involved to grow in the right direction.
Here is a deeper look at how workplace culture impacts conflict resolution.
The culture of an organization can influence how people deal with conflict and what outcomes are acceptable. Some corporate cultures may lean towards collaborative styles where everyone works to find a win-win solution. In other cases, it may be more competitive where each person tries to maximize their gains. Essentially, these styles can either help or hinder conflict resolution in the workplace.
Another thing that is impacted by workplace culture is how communication and feedback take place. Corporate cultures may place value on direct and clear communication. Others may prefer an indirect approach, though this often leads to confusion, further straining the working relationships between teams. The differences here mean that some people will feel understood and respected while others who have to dance around issues may feel like nothing has changed.
Organizational culture can impact how each person learns from a conflict. In some corporate cultures, learning is fostered. This allows everyone to gain new insights, skills, and perspectives to level up and improve on a personal level as well as with the team. When a workplace culture doesn’t follow this type of model, it can make conflict seem like a threat or make employees terrified to make mistakes.
When workers are happy, they are far more productive than their unhappy counterparts. Even though workplace conflicts are a natural part of the corporate landscape and can be beneficial in helping teams work together, there is the potential for negativity to spread. This is why conflict resolution is such an important slice of the equation.
Every corporate setting must identify and combat negativity in the workplace efficiently. This is done by having the right measures in place to help resolve – conflict resolution training being the prime example of the right way to do it.
Developing a culture of conflict resolution will enable your business to stop issues before they spiral out of control. Here are some vital steps you can take in your business to address it and make it part of your workplace culture.
The way to address workplace issues is by managing employee relations and getting to the root of the conflict. It’s important to monitor these issues and look for patterns of behavior before these problems interfere with productivity. In doing so, you will have better visibility of the conflict from an omniscient point of view.
Collaboration is usually the key to handling any conflict. Having a system in place allows you to quickly quash negativity while finding a resolution that works for the employees involved in the conflict. However, you need to find out what is causing this turmoil – clashes in personality, workflow, and resources are often the most common issues.
Since every workplace has its own culture that defines how employees should work together and solve problems, it may seem like making things stricter will be better for everyone. The opposite is a better route, though. Once control is freed up, employees are more empowered to take greater ownership and responsibility. This helps each employee have a vested interest in their own achievements as well as the company’s.
One thing that is essential to understand is that policies and procedures can’t transform a culture. They do play a role, but each person at the senior level needs to understand more about conflict. They also need to understand how they may be inadvertently fueling that conflict and making things more toxic for the company as a whole.
Keeping this in mind, businesses that are regularly trying to manage conflict need to create a strategy and build a culture of conflict resolution. It should focus on honesty, discussion, and fairness. This is not to say that everyone may get their way all the time, but by taking conflict resolution training, the entire company can benefit from learning how to work through these issues in a way where everyone gives and takes, and feels better as a result.
Whether you believe conflict is a good thing or not, ignoring it is never the right way to handle things. It can turn into the elephant in any room, something that will soon be impossible to ignore.
Things that are left to fester like this always make the workplace worse off. Conflict isn’t always a bad thing, but when it arises, it’s important to take the right steps to understand it, get to the root, and find a way to move past it where everyone can play their part.
Conflict is a part of life. It can bring out the best in everyone, too, when it’s managed properly. Every employee from the top down should learn these valuable skills as it can only make them stronger in their careers and further help the company to thrive.