Chances are we’ve all encountered a difficult coworker who butts heads with their colleagues. People are bound to disagree in the office environment, have a difference in opinions and may not see eye to eye at some point.
Managing and diffusing a tense situation at the office can get complicated but what’s the right way to respond if at all?
Interpersonal issues are going to pop-up in the workplace and sometimes conflict is normal but when ‘office beef’ goes unresolved it can lead to a toxic environment, workplace unhappiness and a decrease in team moral, creativity and can make collaboration difficult.
Listen to the Kaya Drive with Sizwe Dhlomo team’s methods of handling beefing coworkers:
HR Business Manager at LabourNet, Polelo Moloi has shared 7 tips for employers to resolve office conflict amicably:
- The first step is to firstly understand the conflict from the two different colleagues as the perception of each employee will be their reality.
- Set up a meeting between the two employees and start the meeting by explaining the reason for the meeting and what the process will be and what the desired outcome of this session is.
- Giving both employees an opportunity to voice their ‘beef’ will give them the platform to express their discomfort with one another, they feel heard in this instance.
- It’s also important to raise the point of how their conflict is affecting other people within their work environment as they need to consider that their actions towards each other not only affects them but could most likely affect other employees in their workspace and environment.
- Once this has been communicated to them and they start to realise what the consequences of their actions are and how it affects not only them but others. We start looking at or devising different ways that we can resolve the conflict that will leave both parties feeling heard and understood and comfortable with the process of actually creating a healthier environment for them. And both taking responsibility for their actions and setting certain commitments that will ensure a better working relationship going forward.
- Once these commitments have been brought forward we then set timelines of when we will reconvene again to see the progress at that time and what other commitment or actions need to be put in place.
- What one needs to understand with situations like this is that it is always important to revisit progress as such relationships between colleagues is not a start and finish but rather more of a process of development of each individual’s character and personalities and getting to the root of the conflict is always key to ensure sustainable results of conflict resolution.