Your Business Needs a Leader - Yes, We Mean You.
For a small business, it’s important that everyone in your company is working as efficiently as possible. Let’s face it - in today’s constantly changing and competitive business world, there are times when it takes everything you have just to get to the end of the day.
For leadership, the last thing you want to have to worry about is whether or not Employee A and Employee B are getting along well. As long as the work is getting done, that’s all the matters, right?
Having employees in conflict impacts morale, which directly affects productivity, and is one of major reasons employees decide to leave a business. If you think of all the hours it takes to hire a good employee, and then all the work that goes into developing a relationship and properly training a good employee - it’s a huge waste to have to start the process all over again because of an unresolved conflict.
As your business grows, and the number and the responsibilities of your employees increase, so does the importance of preventing and resolving employee conflicts.
This starts with your leadership.
When you first start your business, you’re in charge of every process. When you reach the point where you’re able to hire, chances are these employees are less true employees and more like assistants or apprentices to you. They’re useful because you’ve grown to the point where you personally don’t have enough hours in a day or enough hands to handle the business entirely on your own.
But eventually, you’ll grow to the point where you’ll have enough people working with you and for you that you’ll have to begin to create a structure for your business and its employees - and in doing so, you’ll create a new role for yourself: as a leader.
Make it a point to learn the skills you need for this role; the most important responsibility in the business. Grab yourself some literature about leadership skills and responsibility. Don’t be afraid to take a management course, either. Check your local library - sometimes, they’ll offer courses and lectures for free.
Make training yourself as a manager and leader a priority and it will help you to better understand the needs of your employees, and better equip you to handle conflicts as they arise.
Most employee conflicts can be prevented by good management and an enforced business structure. Learning management skills allow you to make sure you’re putting your employees in a position to succeed.
It also allows you to avoid some common mistakes that can lead to fights and resentment amongst your employees. Good management is also communicative and listens to employees. Conflicts can easily be resolved - or stopped from occurring altogether - when employees feel free to discuss their feelings with leadership and have a good understanding of their role in relation to everyone they’re working with, and how it plays into the main goals of the business. Employees that feel heard and a part of the future of the business are more likely not to get into conflicts to begin with.
As a leader in your small business, it’s good to check in to see how your employees feel and to make sure you’ve given yourself all the tools you need to manage well. This will avoid unnecessary strife, increase morale and productivity, and could ultimately better help you retain good employees.