While some friction in the workplace is to be expected, too much is harmful to everyone involved, particularly if left unresolved. Conflicts between employees disrupt their work and that of colleagues who share the work environment. Ongoing disagreements can affect job performance and even the company’s productivity and bottom line.
While most U.S. workers report involvement in workplace strife at times, more than a third say they deal with it often or always. In a typical week, employees spend, on average, about three hours handling conflict at work. That’s just 7 percent of the work week, but in terms of productivity, the costs are staggering, resulting in an estimated $360 billion in paid hours.*
So, what’s causing all this workplace friction? Employees say mainly personality conflicts and warring egos, as well as stress and workloads. These may lead to angry outbursts and insults; nasty, behind-the-back comments; poor communications; procrastination on projects; and more.
Other than avoiding people who rub us the wrong way—which doesn’t solve and often intensifies the problem—what can we do to resolve conflict at work?
Try taking these steps to manage conflict with co-workers
- Ask yourself why the person bothers you. Be aware of what is setting you off. If dealing with ... Read More
Our 21st century focus on teams isn’t new. Successful industry executives and entrepreneurs have long recognized the value of teams in fulfilling a company’s purpose and producing positive results.
Industry titan Andrew Carnegie was a proponent of teamwork, defining it as “the ability to work together toward a common vision.” And his contemporary Henry Ford said, “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.”
Those are inspiring and convincing words, but even the firmest believers in teamwork can find it difficult to put into action. While a workplace retreat can be effective, gains made in a single day are too often lost upon return to the office. So, how can managers build teams of employees who embrace shared goals to produce profitable outcomes?
Want to create successful teams? Focus on these five qualities
- Leadership – Establish yourself as the leader. Set goals for the team that can be linked to the company’s success. Delegate responsibilities that will foster individual professional growth and will help achieve the team’s goals. Be objective and fair in resolving conflicts among team members.
- Trust –Trust in your employees’ abilities to perform their jobs well and allow them to make independent decisions as much as possible. The ... Read More
One of the most challenging tasks facing managers is how best to handle low-performing employees. Questions abound: Can they make an acceptable turnaround? What help should we give them? How many strikes until they’re out? How long until we cut them loose?
If they show a sign of promise, you might want to give them a chance to redeem themselves, particularly now when good employees are hard to find and recruit. Try coaching low performers and developing action plans for them. But know how and when to terminate them properly.
“While it’s never easy confronting individuals about poor performance, tolerating it is a failure of leadership,” says John Baldoni, executive coach and leadership educator.
Use a mixture of sensitivity and firmness when approaching low-performing employees. Don’t express anger toward them, and never disparage them in front of fellow employees. While no process is the only right way, here are eight effective steps to address subpar performance with employees from our HR consulting firm:
- Address the situation as soon as you recognize a problem. Don’t procrastinate or wait for a performance review while the problem continues.
- Find the cause and be objective. (Employees’ lack of skills, training, or motivation? Personal problems? Unclear expectations? Poor two-way communications?)
- Begin ... Read More
While a certain degree of stress in the workplace can be expected, too much of it isn’t healthy for employees. Furthermore, it can hinder a company’s productivity by increasing turnover and absenteeism.
According to a survey on anxiety and stress by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, seven in 10 adults who experience work-related stress say it affects their personal relationships, mainly with spouses.
The survey’s results show the main sources of workplace stress are deadlines, 55 percent; interpersonal relationships, 53 percent; staff management, 50 percent; and dealing with problems, 49 percent.
But, most workers aren’t comfortable talking with their employer about their stress. Fewer than 40 percent of employees who said stress interfered with their work spoke with their employer about it.
That’s unfortunate because managers can play an important role in creating less stressful work environments and helping employees address and manage stress.
Here are seven ways to de-stress your work environment
- Allow flexible work schedules, if possible. This can reduce stress related to commuting, child care concerns, and overall work-life balance.
- Communicate openly with employees. Keep them informed of departmental and company changes. Ask for their feedback and be available to talk anytime.
- Speak positively and give sincere compliments of work done well. Recognize ... Read More
If you’re running a successful business, chances are good that 1) most of your employees are of a high quality and 2) you treat them well because you would like to keep them as long as you can.
But how often do you review your efforts to recognize and reward employees? Retaining employees takes concerted effort, and rewarding their roles in your company’s success is the best way to retain them. Your retention strategies are as important as your recruitment strategies, and some rewards are more effective in building employee loyalty and longevity.
According to the Harvard Business Review, nearly 70 percent of U.S. workers are either actively or passively on the lookout for new jobs. So, I’m not surprised that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that workers today remain with the same employer for just over 4 years.
Give employees good reasons to remain with your company
Losing good employees can have substantial costs – their lost productivity, time spent on finding and training their successors, and stress for remaining employees who pick up the slack.
Good employees who feel valued tend to remain with the same company for more than a few years. So, the employer must give workers good reasons ... Read More
There’s always a but, right? The US Department of Labor reported that the number of open jobs in the United States was the highest in 14 years. The BUT is that companies FILLED those positions at the slowest pace since the end of last Summer. Job openings rose 2.5% in January 2015 to a seasonally adjusted 5 million – that’s the highest since 2001. Available jobs were 28% higher compared to one year ago. While hiring rose an even faster 3.5% to 5.24 million, that is the slowest rate since last August. Poor winter weather may be one cause. Ok – here’s another but- but companies also complain that it has become increasingly harder to find workers with the precise skills they need.
The latest employment survey from the National Federation of Independent Business, for example, says the number of job openings that went unfilled rose to an eight-year high. At the end of January there were 1.8 unemployed workers per job opening, according to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover report, up from 1.78 in December. With the labor ... Read More
As we move into the winter months, cold and flu season will affect many of our employees; however, most of these employees won’t stay home to recuperate. Instead, they’ll drag themselves into the office when they are feeling sick and end up making several co-workers sick in the process. The sick employee isn’t intentionally trying to spread their germs around, but they feel the need to come to work for reasons related to responsibility, perception, and financial burdens. There’s now a new term to describe this trend “presenteeism”.
According to a new study by Staples, 90% of American workers go to work when they are knowingly contagious. This percentage is up from 80% in 2012 and 60% in 2011. In addition to showing up for work sick, approximately 50% of employees will not get a flu shot. So why are people at work when they shouldn’t be? The term “presenteeism” has been coined to describe this trend. Presenteeism can be as costly to an employer as absenteeism. For example, germs can be spread to healthy workers resulting in other employees not being able to come into work. Another example is even though the sick employee is present at work, they are ... Read More
What Will Your Business Look Like in 3 Years?
TriStarr’s President & CEO, Joan Paxton was recently asked this question. Many business leaders may stammer to think of an answer, others spout off their “mission” or “vision” statement. Joan’s answer was quick, and I believe, spot on.
“Wherever our client’s want us to be.”
We’ve started to see the needs of our clients shift and our revenue streams are changing. Where our clients want us to be, may not be where they’ve wanted us to be in the past.
TriStarr Staffing has been known for years as a boutique provider of office / clerical and administrative staffing in Lancaster and Central Pennsylvania. Here’s what our clients have asked us to do recently.
- One client asked us for a Japanese Translator – ORDER FILLED!
- Another asked us for an RF Technician (and wished us luck as they had had no success finding any) – ORDER FILLED – ** we actually found them TWO!
- Our Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) Group is actively recruiting locally and nationally for several clients. More and more clients have expressed interest in this concept. We’ve successfully shown our RPO clients how they can outsource parts of their recruiting process to save ... Read More