Conflict is a bitter pill for any entrepreneur to swallow. In the course of building any successful business, there will inevitably be disagreements and differences of opinion. How these disagreements are managed however can significantly impact company morale and productivity.
That’s why conflict resolution for entrepreneurs should not be underestimated.
How conflict can affect a business
Conflict costs money. In the United States, companies spend more than £285 billion per year on conflict-related expenses like lost productivity, absences, and distractions.
Conflict costs time. Survey data suggests. Chief finance officers (CFOs) spend 15% of their time resolving conflicts — and that’s just at work! This doesn’t consider the time spent dealing with conflict outside of work hours. Now imagine what 15% of the salary of a CFO at a major blue-chip is, and we begin to see how conflict can be a major drain on business resources.
Conflict affects employee morale: If you have employees who don’t get along or who constantly bicker over silly things, your workplace will have a negative impact on everyone else’s moods and motivation levels. This can lead to poor attendance, low productivity, and higher turnover rates as employees seek out better working environments.
Conflict affects employee and customer relationships: When an employee is unhappy with their job or has tension between co-workers, they may not want to be as friendly with clients.
Why is conflict resolution important for entrepreneurs?
A recent survey by Gallup found that engagement at work is at an all-time low. According to their findings, 87% of global employees are either not engaged or actively disengaged at work. That means only 13% of employees worldwide are engaged and committed to their work and workplace.
Since many studies have shown that engaged employees are more productive, it’s clear that conflict resolution is an essential part of a workplace environment. When used correctly, conflict resolution can create a healthier work environment and boost employee engagement rates by encouraging commitment, loyalty, focus, and communication.
Conflict resolution tips for managers
Conflict resolution can be complex, but you don’t have to approach it alone. Here are some tips that can help you handle the situation and move your team forward together.
Be approachable. In many cases, people do not want to approach their team management with a problem because they feel it will be perceived as an inability to work with others. Instead, managers should make it clear that they are approachable and want to help resolve conflicts before they escalate.
Understand the causes of conflict. When you understand why people are in conflict, you can effectively address those issues. But if you don’t, it’s easy to make things worse.
Don’t appear to take sides. If one person feels like you are judging them as an authority figure, they could become even more entrenched in their position. Instead, try to find a solution that helps both parties feel like they’re being heard and understood. Show them that what happens next will be fair for everyone involved.
Managers need to understand the significance of conflict resolution and how it can affect their employees and bottom line. The most effective managers can convert conflicts into opportunities for growth, development, and employee involvement. When handled effectively, conflicts can improve morale and the image of an organisation in the eyes of customers and other stakeholders.