Minimize personality conflicts in your workplace

The motherly instruction to "play well with others" doesn't always travel from the playground to the workplace, a new Accountemps survey suggests. Managers interviewed said they spend, on average, 18 percent of their time -- more than seven hours a week or nine weeks per year -- intervening in employee disputes. Resolving staff conflicts is an ongoing issue faced by supervisors. Past Accountemps studies from as far back as 1991 show similar results.
 
Managers were asked, "What percentage of management time is wasted resolving staff personality conflicts?" The mean response was 18 percent.
 
"Although staff management is part of the job for supervisors, too much time spent handling disputes gets in the way of business priorities and often signals a larger issue needs to be addressed," said Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps. "For example, being chronically short-staffed can cause friction among employees, as can an overly competitive work environment."
 
Messmer added, "Workplace conflicts can never be fully eliminated, but there are steps managers can take to foster greater team harmony."
 
Accountemps offers five tips for minimizing personality conflicts:
  1. Know when to step in. You don't want to interject every time a minor issue arises, but you can't afford to turn a blind eye to problems that jeopardize the group's output. Before morale and productivity are impacted significantly, work with those involved to identify the reason for the conflict, clear the air and determine ways to address future disagreements.
  2. Don't let one bad apple spoil the bunch. When friction is clearly 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.
  3. Help employees get to know each other. Provide opportunities for your staff to interact in non-work activities, such as lunches or volunteer activities; familiarity can breed greater understanding.
  4. 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 how they interact with others is as important as their job performance.
  5. Make good hiring choices 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.
 

You may like these other stories...

The issue of international assignees was, for a long time, limited to a small number of companies – meaning only those that operated on an international scale. But in recent years, global expansion has shifted into...
Steve Jobs. Sergey Brin. Mark Zuckerberg. Each of these individuals, and their companies, are celebrated as changing the face of the technology. They all followed a similar path to success: excelling at one thing and...
Read more articles by Sally Glick here.While reading a recent article titled, "Bondage to Busyness," by Alan Morinis, I was struck by his reminder regarding how stressed and pressured we all are today. Our...

Already a member? log in here.

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Sep 24
In this jam-packed presentation Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA will give you a crash-course in creating spreadsheet-based dashboards. A dashboard condenses large amounts of data into a compact space, yet enables the end user to easily drill down into details when warranted.
Sep 30
This webcast will include discussions of important issues in SSARS No. 19 and the current status of proposed changes by the Accounting and Review Services Committee in these statements.
Oct 21
Kristen Rampe will share how to speak and write more effectively by understanding your own and your audience's communication style.
Oct 23
Amber Setter will show the value of leadership assessments as tools for individual and organizational leadership development initiatives.