Stave Off Discontent and Conflict Among Your Staff

Adopt a proactive approach with these eight tips.

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By Stan Popovich

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Knowing how to resolve conflicts and prevent arguments with your employees is very important for anyone managing a business. Conflict with employees can lead to resentment and dissatisfied workers who won't do their best in performing their jobs.

Here are eight suggestions on how to reduce potential problems with employees:

Related: Does Your Startup Have a Strategy?

1. Develop a plan.

Draft a plan spelling out what you want your employees to accomplish. An entrepreneur must know where the company is headed and to be able to put this in writing. Developing an effective business plan can save time and money. Having one is vital for a company's success.

2. Communicate effectively.

The next step is to share this plan with project managers and employees. Let everyone know what they need to do. Don't leave all the explaining to project managers. Interact with employees to be certain that everyone is on the same page.

Related: Oh, Shut Up and Listen Already

3. Listen.

Pay attention to what employees have to say. Don't assume you have all the answers. Encourage workers to ask questions and then listen carefully to what they're saying. Don't be afraid to admit that you may have been wrong in some cases. Refrain from arguing with those who disagree with you.

4. Admit your mistakes.

Some entrepreneurs think they know everything and that their employees don't have the expertise to meaningfully contribute to the company's goals. The fact is you will not always be right all the time. Employees like to work for those who are fair and honest and willing to admit when they're wrong.

Related: Correcting Leadership Communication Mishaps

5. Don't show favoritism.

A sure way to create resentment is to treat certain staffers better than others. Each employee should be treated fairly and granted the same opportunities as everyone else at the organization. Do this so as to not awaken jealousy among staffers.

6. Compliment employees.

Praise staffers who do a good job. Don't assume that any worker is beyond hearing some encouragement and don't take anyone for granted. A simple thank you or a pat on the back is a great way to let workers feel appreciated and that their accomplishments are being noticed.

7. Reduce any potential conflicts.

Things will not always go smoothly. When a potential problem starts to emerge among your staff, try to find a solution immediately. Do not let potential conflicts drag on from week to week. Use your problem-solving skills to prevent arguments. Be open minded and willing to see where the other person is coming from.

8. Offer incentives.

Some jobs at a company can be repetitious, which can lead to boredom among employees. Train staffers to do multiple tasks so as to reduce boredom and offer incentive programs so that employees can earn extra money for hard work. Always reward people for extra work.

Related: 3 Online Tools for Supercharging a Company's Culture

Stan Popovich


Stan Popovich is the author of A Layman’s Guide to Managing Fear Using Psychology, Christianity and Non Resistant Methods. Read the reviews of Popovich’s book by visiting

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