Staff Disputes Time Consuming

04.24.2011
HR & Safety

Managers interviewed by the staffing service Accountemps say they spend an average of 18% of their time: more than seven hours a week or nine weeks a year: intervening in employee disputes.

Although staff management is part of a supervisor’s job, too much time spent handling staff disputes gets in the way of business operations and often signals that a larger issue needs to be addressed, says Accountemps. For example, being chronically short-staffed can cause friction among employees, as can an overly competitive work environment.

Accountemps offers supervisors five tips for minimizing personality conflicts:

  • Know when to step in. You don’t want to interject every time a minor issue arises, but you can’t afford to turn away from problems that jeopardize the group’s output. Before morale and productivity are impacted, work with those involved to identify the reason.
  • Don’t let one bad apple spoil the bunch. When friction is stemming from the actions of a single individual, remind that person that the ability to collaborate and treat coworkers with respect is a requirement of the job.
  • Help employees get to know one another. Provide opportunities for your staff to interact in nonwork activities; familiarity can breed greater understanding .
  • Reward positive role models. Dole out praise, promotions, and choice assignments to individuals who contribute to a supportive work environment. Recognizing staff for being team players sends a clear message that their interpersonal behavior is as important as their job performance.
  • Make good hiring decisions from the start. Hiring individuals with excellent interpersonal skills who are a good fit with your organization’s culture will reduce the potential for future conflicts.

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