How to Avoid Employees Butting Heads

A healthy business environment is a business environment that engenders peace, cooperation, and efficiency. Unfortunately, this can all be interrupted at a moment’s notice if two or more employees start to experience conflict. Here are some things you can do preemptively to avoid that possibility.

Make Sure Everyone Understands Their Roles

One of the greatest sources of consternation among employees is simply misunderstanding. Often, if two employees are disagreeing to a point of interruption, it’s because someone has misunderstood their role in some way. Make absolutely sure during training and any ongoing supervision that employees know exactly which tasks are solely their responsibility and which tasks they need to share. If a correction is necessary, communicate to the employee directly, clearly, and kindly. Trust that after the roles are better understood, the employees will continue without unnecessary conflict. This step shouldn’t be as necessary if employees are well-trained and properly introduced into the workplace.

Plan the Onboarding Process

Thus, we have the reason that a carefully planned onboarding process can be so important. This is when new employees begin to learn how to do their tasks, how to interact with the other workers, and how the company culture generally plays out. A casual onboarding process that is not adequately thorough will lead to misunderstandings from both the new and the experienced employees that can result in butting heads. You should prepare current employees whenever onboarding a new employee for this exact reason. Make it clear how you want them to be trained and how they will fit into the new structure. Make sure that everybody feels appreciated for their effort.

Have a Good HR Department

Some businesses might be too small to have an entire HR department. Sometimes, HR might just be an experienced manager. It might be a separate HR employee that you hired for this specific purpose. Regardless, you need some kind of stable and dependable system in place to deal with interpersonal issues. HR provides a resource for employees to fall back on in cases of serious conflict, harassment, or even just an issue that can’t be resolved between them. Communication and mutual respect are key – but having a good HR department means being prepared for the more extreme cases that can seriously harm employee productivity and morale.

In many ways, some conflict between employees is inevitable. Employees are just humans, at the end of the day. But that is all the more reason why you should endeavor to invest your time and money into practices and policies that will prevent the worst cases from ever happening.

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