Culture, Team Building


No team will agree on everything. Disagreement can be frustrating, but necessary- constructive feedback is an important process for building a great organization. However, unnecessary conflict can destroy a company.

Many leaders are reactionary to issues among employees and only respond when there has been clear evidence of infighting. Managers that only stamp out existing fires will lose sight of company goals and eventually lose their team’s support. On the other hand, great leaders put processes in place to prevent these conflicts from ever arising. Here are five ways to prevent conflict within your team!

Set Clear Expectations 

Very often, conflict within a team occurs when clear expectations and guidelines have not been set by leadership. Without direction, employees will follow different processes to achieve objectives, and operate on their own standards. This inconsistency will lead to an inequality of effort and a misalignment of risk tolerance.

Managers should make sure to set a very clear process for work, guidelines for communications, and goals for projects. Once everyone is held to the same standards, expectations will be equitable and there should not be a difference in the way your team executes on objectives.

Provide Channels For Anonymous Feedback 

Many conflicts stay hidden from sight because employees fear being reprimanded for their opinions. Providing employees with anonymous feedback channels can be a fantastic way to hear grievances that might be hidden.

Anonymous surveys are a great way to gather important information that will allow you to prevent conflicts before they arise. You will also receive feedback on how your leadership style is supporting your team.

The most important part of anonymous surveys is when you take action on the data you collect. Make sure to address problematic themes and common requests in a public forum and come up with solutions to keep your team moving in the right direction.

Encourage Team Bonding Outside of the Office 

Forming bonds outside of the work setting can be a great boost for team moral and allow your team members to understand each other on a deeper level. Activities outside of the office can range from morning walks and team lunches, to company outings and weekend retreats. With these deeper connections formed, your team will resolve minor issues without letting it boil over into unnecessary clashes.

Promote Collaboration 

When employees work together two things happen: 1. They build empathy for their peers. 2. They take ownership and responsibility for projects outside of their usual routine. Tying threads inside any organization will help create a more united workforce, and dissolve walls of misunderstanding.

Talk Out Difference- In the Open 

Conflicts and misunderstandings will occur. To prevent an escalation or continuation of problems, address fundamental differences in the open. This can be done through one on one dialogues between two disputing parties with leadership present, or among a larger group.

If managed correctly, conflicts can be an opportunity for growth. Embracing these moments will solidify your status as a leader, and allow your team to turn a negative experience into a moment of solidarity.


Tagged: Culture, Team Building

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(Texicus Marketersapien) is one half of the Sift growth team. Most of the time you can find him behind three computer screens with far too many tabs open. When not in the office, Dylan enjoys sleeping, playing soccer, and exploring Detroit in his cowboy boots.