Collaboration at work does not always run smoothly due to individual differences; hence, friction in the workplace is phenomenal. Yes, even the most compatible and successful team is susceptible to friction at work, could be as a result of miscommunication or a clash of interest. According to Conflict Resolution Professional Group (CRPG), 60 – 80 percent of all challenges in organizations result from strained relationship between employees – friction at work. And managers spend at least 25% of their work hours resolving conflicts – very discouraging. Aside from the unproductive time spent resolving conflicts, friction in the workplace has the credentials of demoralizing and slowing down the work pace of employees.

Irrespective of your promising ways of resolving conflicts at work, the most lucrative pill is to eliminate friction in the workplace. Sometimes, it calls for extra measures such as adjusting your management style to incorporate the different generations at your office, maximizing the use of employee talent to ensure that everyone is deeply involved and avert a feeling of isolation, and creating avenues to receive personal opinions.

We have reviewed most of the causes of conflict at workplace to arrive at our three (3) ways to eliminate friction at work outlined below.

Create consequences

As long as you're planning to eliminate friction at work, you must not only provide guidelines to employees but propose a heavy penalty for preserving and taking differences to the extreme at work. Workers involved in conflicts should set an example for others. Yes, do not compromise for any reason if you really want to eliminate friction at work. The guideline should be clear and well-publicized to ensure that every employee is clearly sensitized. Re-emphasize the conflict policy at meetings to promote the value and regularly motivate your teamwork to drop their differences.

Eliminate unfairness

It would be cruel to hold high punishment for conflict and still promote it. Your corporate policy must ensure that no group or gender is treated unfairly in any way. Maintaining equal right will not encourage any sect to abuse the conflict policy with expectations that you'll side for them. Clarify that every employee (both parties) involved in a conflict has abused the policy and must face the established consequences without preferences. Be open to all for personal opinions and let your employees recognize that everyone one of them have the same high value.

Clarify priorities

This is one of the major causes of friction at work, usually as a result of miscommunication or a clash of interest; proving more understanding to responsibilities and detect which part of a project should come first. As you manage your team's workforce, it's important to help them flow with the appropriate segment of any ongoing project. Clarify duties when you reassign functions and be open for feedback. It's important to take some time to think before clarifying priorities to be more professional and ensure that every team member is duly informed when there's any change in work plans.

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