Everybody dreads conflict in the workplace.
Excessive conflict can decrease morale and increase inefficiency. If it’s not resolved, then people may take more days off — or leave the company altogether.
If you own a dental practice, then you need to know the causes of conflict on dental teams in order to address them. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most common causes — and how to reduce conflict in general.
What Causes Conflict at Work?
Many things can cause conflict. While conflict can spring from almost anywhere — from personality clashes to job incompatibilities — there are a few more likely sources.
One of the biggest causes of conflict in the workplace is poor communication.
Say that you’re planning to roll out new scheduling software. Some people know about it, but not others. This can result in a lot of confusion and frustration as team members try to figure out what to do.
And it’s not just a management problem. If team members don’t talk to each other, then it could result in frustration building between them.
Continued poor communication can lead to conflict because of just how inefficient and frustrating it can make things. At Dental Intelligence, we can help improve dental office communication with Team Chat. This can make it easier for cross-communication between you and your team, helping to resolve workplace conflict before it starts.
Poor communication isn’t the only cause of workplace conflict; poor management strategies can create potential problems, too.
Sometimes, managers may have too much involvement with the team, resulting in micromanagement. Other times, managers may not have enough involvement, leaving them disconnected from their employees and their concerns.
Make sure to strike a good balance between the two, checking in with your team when needed but not hovering so much as to be overbearing.
Not everyone will always pull their weight. Sometimes, team members may not do as much as they should, leaving difficult tasks to fall to their coworkers. Other times, while they might be doing enough, there are coworkers who might not perceive it that way. Either case can lead to problems, so make sure you’re keeping up with how your employees are doing and if there are any grievances.
Gossip can be an insidious thing. It’s natural for team members to talk about their days, but problems start when they begin gossiping about coworkers. This can lead to harmful rumors, increased workplace tension, and a potentially unsafe environment.
Sometimes rumors will sort themselves out. Other times, they might lead to escalating conflicts — which means you might need to intervene.
Do you not have enough tools for everyone to do their jobs properly? If so, then this could easily end up leading to conflict.
Avoid problems by making sure that everyone has what they need to do their jobs properly. Pay attention to workplace concerns and listen to your employees to ensure you’re getting the supplies you need.
How Do You Deal with Conflict Effectively?
Some sort of conflict is inevitable whenever you work with others. Knowing how to deal with it effectively can help you avoid potential problems.
If you want to reduce conflict, then consider doing the following:
- Build strong relationships with your team. If your employees feel safe and comfortable around you — and their coworkers — they’re more likely to speak to you to try and work out problems peacefully.
- Make sure roles and guidelines are clearly defined. By making sure that everyone understands their roles, you can reduce miscommunications and workplace tension.
- Consider scheduling monthly meetings. As much as you might want to keep up with everyone, it can be hard when you all have jobs to do. Scheduling regular meetings can give you a chance to hear about any concerns your employees have. This, in turn, will give you the opportunity to address them.
- Respect all individuals involved in a conflict. Sometimes, you simply can’t avoid conflict. If disputes arise, take the involved workers aside and talk to them individually. Gather all the facts and treat them with respect to try and smooth out a conflict.
Prevent Conflict with the Right Tools
There are many causes of conflict in the workplace. Identifying them can help you mitigate issues and make for a better work environment.