Not you again: the emergence of workplace conflict can feel unwelcome and uncomfortable. Conflicts in the workplace not only cause discomfort, they also lead people to feel less motivated as they spend their energy on the conflict, not on generating new business or honing their skills. Can you avoid conflict in the workplace?
Why Conflicts Occur
Conflict in the workplace is normal. If you spend a lot of time with specific people, over time you will not always agree. Employees may have different values, different ways of working, and differences in personalities that emerge over time and make it difficult to work with certain employees. Poor communication can also cause conflict, leading to confused or disgruntled employees who feel misunderstood and underappreciated.
Is Conflict Bad for Your Workplace?
Conflict is not always a bad thing. If members of a team disagree about a process or approach, having a discussion about their disagreement could make your product or customer service strategy better. Interpersonal conflicts can feel challenging, but they also lead you to realize that a particular personality trait just don't work well on your teams. Conflict involves learning, and learning about who your organization is and what it needs isn't always bad, but it can be difficult.
Hire to Control Conflict
While conflict can bring learning, you don't want to create insurance jobs that are full of conflict. You can use your hiring practices to bring on employees who have a positive and constructive attitude toward conflict. Ask prospective employees questions that reveal how they manage interpersonal conflict and work on a team with different communication styles or values. Look for those with a positive communication style who aren't afraid to directly address what's bothering them and why. When you check references, ask about how the employee relates to others and look for signs of gossip, harassment, or bullying. Paint a realistic picture of your company as well, so that the individuals you are hiring know what the current workplace atmosphere and programs are like on a daily basis.
Consciously Create Teams
As you hire for your insurance jobs, be conscious of who you already have on your team, and hire accordingly. Yes, you are hiring for a specific position, but if you're choosing among many different people with similar insurance skills and backgrounds, choose the person who will be the best fit for your team. If your team needs an extroverted communicator or someone who will work quietly to manage interpersonal relationships, note that need and bring a person with those personality traits onto your team.
Provide Conflict Resolution Processes
As an employer, one of your roles is to provide appropriate conflict resolution processes that will help your employees communicate well on a daily basis and when conflicts do arise. Create a workplace that encourages positive and constructive feedback, and be aware of and discuss conflicts as they arise, rather than waiting until they erupt. Hold conflict resolution seminars to inform your employees, and have a conflict resolution process that allows your employees to seek help from HR or from a designated employee program for those in conflict.
Are you struggling to find those who are the right fit for your company's needs? The American Agents Alliance can help. As a national insurance association of independent insurance agents & brokers, we're here to help you be successful. With our hiring services, we'll help you pinpoint who you need and help you bring on employees who are an exceptional fit for your company. Contact us today to learn more.