Take this quick quiz to ensure you know how managing workplace conflict can be done easily.
1. You should be encouraging conflict at work.
TRUE – go to 3.
FALSE – go to 12.
2. If workplace conflict is not managed or poorly managed, good staff will leave. If your business has a high turnover of staff, it’s important to ask those leaving why they are leaving. Sometimes, when people leave, they will be very honest with their reasons. If you hear they are going because of conflict, it’s time to get to the bottom of it. Go to 4.
3. Conflict at work, when managed well, is what brings about new ideas and innovations and respectful conflict should be encouraged! Respectful conflict at work is important and it is vital that your employees understand what this means; it means being able to have a difference of opinion and sharing that, in a respectful manner. It also means listening to other people’s ideas and giving them due consideration. Go to 9.
4. Employee conflict does impact your business.
TRUE – go to 8.
FALSE – go to 7.
5. If workplace conflict is not managed or poorly managed, good staff will leave. And replacing staff who have been trained costs money and time – precious commodities small business owners don’t have. Go to 2.
6. It’s extremely important to ensure your new staff understand the expectations you have around how they communicate with you, their colleagues and the customers, and that they agree to follow these expectations. Setting this expectation at the beginning of the working relationship sets the tone of “how things are done around here”. If any problems arise with a new employee, you can refer back to this conversation and remind them that they agreed to follow the expectations. Setting this expectation early is one strategy to reduce the chance of inappropriate behaviour, which could lead to conflict, occurring. Go to 13.
7. Employee conflict does impact your business, internally and externally. You can lose a lot of valuable time and money managing a conflict. To understand the other impacts of employee conflict on your business. Go to 8.
8. Employee conflict does impact your business. Conflict, if not managed well and early can lead to a loss in productivity, a drop in team morale and cost you time and money. As well as the impacts inside your business, poorly managed conflict can damage the reputation of your business so you’ll find it harder to attract fabulous employees. And that’s all before you could hear from the Fair Work Commission. Manage conflict well and early. Go to 10.
9. When new staff join your business, it’s important you explain to them the expectations you have of how they should work with others.
TRUE – go to 6.
FALSE – go to 11.
10. Now you have updated your knowledge about the importance of managing workplace conflict; you and your business will be better for it. If you’re not sure of the “how” to manage conflict, you can feel confident that you know “when” it needs to be managed. If it’s not you who will manage the conflict, then you can bring in an expert to help.
11. As new staff arrive in your business, it’s extremely important they understand your expectations of how they should work with their colleagues, with you and with your customers. Go to 6.
12. Conflict at work, when managed well, is what brings about new ideas and innovations and it is this type of conflict that should be encouraged! There are three types of conflict: well-managed conflict (which is what we want), poorly-managed conflict and conflict which is not managed at all (we don’t want either of these in our workplace). Go to 3.
13. Your business has a high turnover of staff and this could be caused by conflict at work.
TRUE – go to 2.
FALSE – go to 5.