April 20, 2018

How to Handle Disagreements Between Coworkers in the Workplace

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Disagreements between employees are inevitable. If you are a business owner or manager, you will sometimes be responsible for handling these disagreements. Forbes explains thatthe ability to recognize conflict, understand the nature of conflict, and to be able to bring swift and just resolution to conflict will serve you well as a leader – the inability to do so may well be your downfall.” So before you get involved with settling disputes, take a few moments to stop and think about the best strategies for fairly handling disagreements using the tips below as guidelines.

Understand What It’s Worth

Before your involve yourself in any kind of employee problem, stop to figure out what the problem is worth. Is this an issue that actually impacts the day-to-day operation of the business? If so, how far are you willing to go to solve the problem? Regardless of what’s going on, you need to be aware of what’s potentially at stake before you involve yourself at all. If the problem is entirely interpersonal and doesn’t impact anything else in the workplace, you might not need to be involved with the disagreement at all.

 

Know What’s Important

One of the most important things you can do is to distinguish between disagreements and illegal offenses. Just because there are disagreements or bad feelings between a boss and an employee or between coworkers does not mean illegal offenses have been committed. However, the Law Offices of Jeremy Pasternak specify that “harassment may involve: offensive comments, jokes or physical conduct that denigrates a protected class; requests for sexual favors to keep your job or get a promotion; unwanted leering, touching or physical contact.” Even if you don’t feel you should otherwise get involved, an illegal offense is something that your business must take seriously. After all, your lack of action could end up being read as supporting a hostile or illegal atmosphere, which could put your business at risk. It’s important that you put your personal feelings aside and figure out whether the disagreement has been caused by something that might be legally actionable.

 

Remain Impartial

It’s also important for you as the employer or manager to remain impartial in the disagreement. It doesn’t matter what history you have with either employee. What is the objective situation? In some cases, this might mean siding with an employee with whom you would not usually side. In others, it might mean not taking action even when you feel for one of the two parties. The most important thing you can do is to protect the long-term health of your business, and that means keeping your feelings out of the matter.

 

Cover Your Bases

Finally, make sure your bases are covered. If you have any company policies that dictate how disagreements are handled, make sure you follow those dictates to the letter. If you have a human resources department or legal department, make sure you run any potential issues by them first. While it might seem self-serving, it really is in everyone’s best interest to make sure that you make sure the company is covered before you begin to involve yourself in any employee disagreements. From there, you can start to make the hard decisions that will help to resolve the situation.

If there are disagreements between your employees, don’t go with the instinct to immediately interfere. Instead, stop, take stock of the situation, and figure out if action is either required of you or is best for the health of your company. If you do need to be involved, follow protocols and be as objective as possible. While you can’t make everyone happy, you can adjudicate disputes fairly. As a leader, you must be prepared to be an example and to guide your coworkers and employees to a peaceful resolution.

To learn more about creating agreements for results and collaborations, schedule time at www.meetme.so/ShannonGronich

 

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Business Trip Cheats to Make Your Next Meeting in London Out of This World

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It is no secret that business trips are often long, stressful affairs, packed with multiple meetings and little downtime. When you know your destination is London, however, you want to see as much of England’s capital as possible. With iconic sights such as the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and the London Eye, this city’s food, culture and attractions are as diverse as those who live there. To help you out, keep these cheats in mind to make the most of your trip across the pond.

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The Number One Piece of Advice

First and foremost, plan ahead. Chances are you received a schedule or list of the professional responsibilities that you need to complete while in London. Make sure you know when and where those are, then block out your free time and determine what you have time to do. Time management skills will be key here. Make sure you keep on task while you are there. Use some productivity hacks to maximize your productivity while you are abroad.

Where to Stay

Where you stay in London is highly dependent on your job duties. You might have been assigned a place to stay, but if not, look into hotels or even better, London corporate apartments that are near where you will be spending most of your time. London corporate apartments offer all the luxuries of home, making your trip feel more like a relaxing vacation or homestay instead of a work trip. One that gives you a beautiful place to sleep, get work done and is within your budget is sufficient for business trips. Look for a site that offers complimentary breakfast so you can save time as well. Efficiency and comfort are essential.

What to See

London has many well-known attractions. Some that are worth checking out are taking a ride on the London Eye, an enclosed Ferris Wheel, strolling through the Victoria and Albert Museum, which showcases exhibits related to art and design and picking up some souvenirs from Harrods, the iconic department store. If you want advice on lesser-known travel locations in the city, here are a couple of suggestions. Stroll through some of Hyde Park, located right in Central London, for a quiet escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Or, spend time in the West End, taking in a show.

Where to Eat

For restaurant tips, it is a bit difficult because London has so much good food that it might seem impossible to decide what to try. For restaurant tips, if you are going to see the sights, finding places that are high-quality and get you food quickly are useful when you are short on time. Visit a pub to try traditional British foods, like pies and sausages, or get prepackaged sandwiches from a grocery store or café so you can stick to your time schedule. Try to avoid common American chain fast food stores. Order something you have never seen before or that you always heard of but never had a chance to try.

Use your free time to your advantage and experience some of what London has to offer. With these hacks, you can have a great trip from a personal and business perspective.

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How to Become a Respected and Engaging Leader in Your Workplace

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Becoming a workplace leaders does not always mean that you are given a title and a pay raise, at least initially. You may have to prove yourself first. Fortunately, it is not that hard to do when you utilize the following strategies.

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Lead by example.

Dress, speak, and act the part of the leader you want to become. Treat others the way you want to be treated to earn their respect. Don’t play favorites; instead, view everyone as equal. Perform your work in a positive and productive way to let others see that you are serious about your job and expect others to be, as well. Avoid negative behaviors such as being overly critical, judgmental, or biased. Maintain ethical integrity and encourage employees to do the same.

 

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Apply leadership tactics.

Read books about leadership and study positive role models. Then do as they suggest to build rapport and gain respect at work. Plan projects efficiently to ensure success, selecting the most suitable individuals for each role. Monitor without micromanaging. Provide adequate training and skill-building opportunities to help employees reach their potential and excel at their jobs. Use company resources prudently to build success.

 

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Encourage input.

An interactive workplace is more effective than one that operates from the top down. Use various means to solicit employee suggestions and feedback. For example, a suggestion box may attract new ideas or recommendations. Company newsletter recognition fosters awareness and appreciation of employee efforts. Meetings or focus groups enable employees to have a say about their department’s performance or problems. An interactive in-house discussion board may elicit informal comments or insights. Employees who feel valued are more like to respect and follow company leadership.

 

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Provide structure.

Employees want to know how the company is doing and where it is headed. Routine updates or periodic reports will keep them apprised of the organization’s status and allow them to feel like they are part of the loop. Employees who feel disenfranchised are less productive and more likely to grumble about company policies or even leave their jobs if they are dissatisfied and feel unappreciated. Maintain a hierarchy of authority and an environment of openness to instill employees with security and a positive attitude toward your ability to lead.

 

It has been said that leaders are born, not made. But someone who is willing to stand up and show the way to others within a company can quickly earn respect as a leader. 

Apply to attend the upcoming Business Acceleration Summit and mastermind with our industry leaders and mentors, including Forbes recognized Transformational Leadership Strategist. 

 

Featured Image credit: ASEA

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How to Streamline Your Company’s Clunkiest Processes

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If you run a business of any kind, then you already have several processes in place that help you get work done in a more efficient manner. Sometimes you may not have defined exactly what these processes are, but you’re doing some kind of process whether it is efficient or not. The key is to find out which processes are necessary for your business and streamline them as much as possible. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Here’s how to make it happen for your own company.

How to Streamline Your Company's Clunkiest Processes

Define

Without a clear definition of your end goals, you are prone to run your business in circles. Start with a defined purpose for each task, not just a to-do list. For instance, emailing five customers or calling five customers might each be on your daily list, but they might support the same outcome: getting more sales. If you turn the sales steps into a documented process, you can stay focused on the end goal. This is an example of defining what you want before getting busy.

 

Assign a “Why”

Knowing why your outcome is what it is will help clarify your clunky processes as well. For instance, perhaps sales are important to please the shareholders and get your bonus this year. Or perhaps it’s because you need the extra capital to buy a new building. This motivation will help you keep going through the process even when it seems mundane. This can also help employees grasp a bigger picture and help them feel connected to the business as a whole.

 

Get the Right Tools

Without the right tools, even the best workers will suffer in terms of productivity. That’s why you need to have key systems in place that help you do more in less time, such as manufacturing software. Instead of having your projects spread out and bouncing between people or places, your project lead can delegate all manufacturing stages from one central dashboard, share files, and keep tabs on the progress of each project in real time in the cloud.

 

Review Regularly

Once you’ve defined what your goals are for your process and have the right tools in place, you still need to maintain it. Periodically perform a review of your systems. Make sure they are still meeting your needs and aren’t wasting more energy than necessary.

 

When it comes to business, efficiency is everything. Without efficient business processes, you risk wasting not just time but also money and energy from your employees. By streamlining your processes with the tips above you can enjoy a competitive advantage that puts you miles above your competition, and saves your company resources for the places you can really leverage them.

Share your favorite tool or program and how it helps streamline your processes.

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How to Make Your Team Feel Like an “Office Family”

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How to Make Your Team Feel Like an "Office Family"

You spend at least 8 hours every day at the office. You work with them, chat with them, eat lunch with them, and more — they’re basically your family away from home. But just like any family, creating an environment where these people actually feel like family takes effort. You need to have a shared sense of purpose that everyone is striving to achieve. If you’re feeling stumped, here are some ways to get started:

Foster Productive Open Dialogue

Part of building a team is being able to communicate effectively with one another. This means that all members of the team need to contribute to achieve success. Evaluating employees’ communication skills first can help you determine areas of weakness that may need training. There is a difference between talking to fill the silence and engaging in meaningful conversation. Productive dialogue involves the give and take of ideas. When dealing with hurt feelings, modifiers need to be added to the conversation. This means that one person states how the other person made them feel without laying blame for the situation.

Establish Rules for Interactions

Just as in a family, there must be rules that lay out ways to have positive interactions with each other. There also needs to be clear avenues for how to address grievances. You want your team to feel as though they’re valued. Everyone has something different that they can contribute to the team. Having ground rules can make these interactions more productive for the entire workplace.

Participate in Team Building Workshops

Team building workshops are a good way to get everyone on board. It’s most effective if you do this by signing up for structured courses. These programs are designed to engage everyone that attends, often involving group activities. The point of the activity is so that your team can learn how to work together to achieve a goal. The instructor can observe the interactions and make suggestions to correct behavioral problems. After the workshop, teams often experience “improved productivity, greater bottom-line results, and more quickly attain organizational goals” (CMOE Corporate Team Building Workshops).

Encourage Active Listening

Active listening is a skill that doesn’t always come naturally, but it can be learned. Those that practice active listening are more likely to be successful at work. This means listening to what the other person is saying before formulating your response. Repeat back what you think you heard. This way there won’t be any misunderstandings. This can lead to a more harmonious workplace and can also foster an environment of respect and trust.


Even the best technology and business models can’t succeed with successful relationships (Forbes). Having good workplace dynamics improves productivity, employee morale, and the quality of work produced. A large part of this involves communication. In order for your team to be successful, pretend you’re a family and work together.

We offer business and marketing consulting to increase revenues, develop a high performance team, and avoid costly mistakes. Book a complimentary 30-minute strategy session with Shannon today!

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