There are jerks everywhere in our lives – on the highway, at the grocery store, online, etc. Most of the time, we can simply ignore these people, but that’s not as easy at work. Workers spend a third of their lives in the office, often with little choice over their customers, colleagues, and supervisors. Employees who act like jerks cause interpersonal conflicts that could harm your business. These conflicts can reduce productivity, lower morale, and increase turnover. As an employer, you are responsible for ensuring that obnoxious and disgruntled employees aren’t affecting your company culture. Here are five tips for addressing jerks in your workplace:
Here are five tips for addressing jerks in your workplace:
Listen to Your Employees.
If you are a manager, your employees may not complain to you about difficult colleagues or supervisors. It’s important to have open communication, but you must also pay attention. You should be alert to employees avoiding certain colleagues and complaining about higher stress or low morale.
Foster a Team Culture.
One of the greatest sources of conflict between co-workers is the feeling that someone isn’t being a team player. Whether one feels like they are shouldering all the work or begrudges being assigned tasks that they believe are outside of their job description, perceived or legitimate lack of teamwork breeds resentment. We often see this issue because employees do not understand everyone’s duties. You should hold company-wide meetings highlighting employees’ contributions in an interactive atmosphere. This will give your employees the chance to get to know one another and discuss their current projects.
Address Issues Early On.
If you learn that an employee or supervisor is being rude or a bully, address it immediately one-on-one. You should set a tone that the conduct will not be tolerated. Too often these people are given a pass as just being difficult. Don’t excuse a difficult employee’s behavior if it is affecting others.
Look in the Mirror.
Are you noticing that your employees are reluctant to approach you? Have you lost your temper in a meeting? There’s a big difference between holding your staff to high standards and treating them poorly.
Treat Everyone Like Adults.
When employees aren’t working well together, sit down with them and discuss their issues. You are running a business, not a junior high. If you need assistance, refer them to HR.
A cohesive workplace doesn’t need to be a monolithic workplace. Your employees will represent diverse backgrounds and thoughts. However, personality conflicts should not hamper your business’ growth. If an employee’s poor behavior is affecting others, act before their conduct hurts your business.
Do you have questions about handling conflict at your workplace? Contact an HR Consultant today.