It’s inevitable that at some point in your company’s history a couple (or more) of your employees will butt heads. Maybe a personal trainer feels like another trainer poached a client and isn’t happy about it, or maybe the fitness director and the Group X director are at odds with the programming schedule. Regardless of the issue, it’s important for each employee’s morale that an amicable solution is found.
Adrian Antigua, the general manager of Gainesville Health and Fitness Centers in Gainesville, Florida, shares his step-by-step process for resolving in-office conflict.
“The first thing that needs to happen before any conflict occurs, is when hiring an employee you must define what is acceptable behavior in the workplace. It is never safe to assume that one should know to always act a specific way. Your team’s core values and culture should be clearly defined and should reflect an environment of teamwork and leadership development. It should also be clear that every interaction with an employee of the company — whether you are at work or not — is representative of your business.”
“I would say the next step when dealing with any conflict is to deal with it immediately. The longer a conflict of any sort is able to stir up, the more potential it has to blow up all over the place. I also find that it is important to be proactive in seeking out where potential conflicts can arise, so that proper planning can be done to prevent them from ever occurring in the future.”
“If you ever come to the situation where you are having to mediate between employees, it is important to always move the mediation away to an office out of the customer’s eye. Take the time to let those in conflict speak out their thoughts and concerns fully, without interruption by the other party. Often during these times, many employees simply want to be heard as the lack of communication has been lost. As a mediator, often someone’s viewpoint may go way into left field, so it is important to help keep the conversation grounded.”
“I believe that at the end of each conflict, there should be a resolution. It may not mean that the two parties should be best friends at the end, but an agreement to future discussions and a solid hand shake will go a long way. Conflicts are always a great opportunity to coach up your staff, create a stronger team and sometimes even identify future leaders amongst the group.”