Thursday, October 2, 2008

Top 5 Warning Signs Conflict in the Workplace NEEDS to be Addressed

Whether it’s 1:1 or a full team that is affected, workplace friction creates a drain on business as it lowers productivity, lessens commitment to the company, and ultimately leads to costly turnover. Here are the Top 5 warning signs that conflict or problems in the workplace NEED to be addressed:

1. Staff gossip and complaints – When these behaviors are on the increase take note. Gripes and complaints become exponentially damaging as staff jumps on board in support of each others issues and concerns.

2. Morale is low – A lack of effort at work, tardiness, absenteeism and problems with cooperation and teamwork are common signs of lowered morale. When morale drops, staff isn’t committed to doing the job well, they’re just collecting a pay check.

3. Client complaints – No one wants to lose a good client, but a good employee can be even more expensive (or impossible if it’s a partner, etc.) to replace. Common mistake here include allowing one or the other to go, or focusing only on the symptoms, such as a failure to return calls.

4. Reluctance to contribute – When staff don’t contribute during meetings it’s a clear sign that they lack the personal investment, trust in leadership or both in working at the company.

5. Staff Request for Help – This obvious sign of a problem is unfortunately often ignored. All too often managers, and sometimes HR, offer a band-aid of a solution, or redirect an employee to ignore an issue or find a way of solving it themselves. Ignoring the obvious, that it’s probably beyond the skill or comfort level of this employee to handle the problem alone, this sends a very negative message to that staff member about his value in the company.