How To Manage Conflict Resolution When Working Remotely
Whether your employees are working remotely or onsite or something more hybrid, it is important to consider your organizations workplace culture.
Why Is Workplace Culture Important Even When Remote?
Workplace culture has always been an integral part of an organization, but it is an increasing challenge when working remotely.
Having a great culture in your company isn’t about zoning in on individual achievements. Rather, it’s about how the team works together as a cohesive unit.
While many leaders may believe that being in the same physical space is necessary for workplace culture to be fostered, this is not the case. It’s just done differently, when working remotely.
So, why is it important that you are encouraging a workplace culture for your remote team?
No matter where your employees are located, an effective team culture provides your employees with:
- Open communication and trust which keeps the team cohesive
- An understanding as to how their individual work fits into the overall big picture of the company’s objectives
- An environment where employees can voice their opinions and ideas without judgement
- A shared sense of values that are important for the team and the company
Employees may have settled into a new work routine at home, or maybe a hybrid working environment. It’s important to keep consistency of the workspace, whether employees are working at home or at the office. The hybrid and remote environments can blur the lines between workspace and home life, and can cause unprecedented stress.
It is your job as a leader to ensure that workplace culture stays cohesive whether you are in the office or working remotely.
How Can Remote Working Emphasize Conflict and Communication Issues?
Effective and open communication is absolutely crucial when employees are working remotely. Without it, everything falls apart. Working in a remote environment limits interactions with colleagues. Employees are no longer able to walk to a colleagues office and quickly ask a question or follow-up on a task of a project. Employees have had to adjust significantly from the in-person, face to face interactions, resulting in a high chance that communication will suffer.
Remote work can blur the boundaries between home life and work life.
For example some employees now have to juggle family life as they work. This can lead to further stress and tensions at home. If tensions are high at home, this can lead to inappropriate workplace behaviour like snapping at colleagues. And as we all know, inappropriate workplace behaviour can lead to further tensions and breakdowns in communication.
Other communication challenges such as miscommunication can also become more evident when working remotely. With a lack of face-to-face communication, many individuals aren’t able to pick up on the non-verbal cues that are needed to get a message across to a coworker. After all, communication via email or other messaging channels such as Slack can be easily misinterpreted.
How Do You Manage Conflict Resolution Remotely?
When it comes to conflict resolution it is important that the employer works quickly and effectively to understand why this conflict is taking place and put measures in place to improve the team dynamic.
Avoiding Communication Issues
It is your responsibility to ensure that communications with all employees are transparent and inclusive.
When team members are dispersed across different locations, it can be easy for one person to fall out of the loop. Avoid this by having company-wide communication channels or group chats. That means all employees will be kept up to date with company announcements and it reduces the chance of miscommunication occurring.
Task & Project Management Systems
If tasks aren’t completed on time, this can also be a source of conflict and tension for employees. Avoid this by clearly defining the expectations, objectives and deadlines for tasks and delegate these fairly among employees. Using a clear task assignment system such as tools like Monday.com or Asana can help to create accountability and gives transparency to the responsibilities of each team member meaning everyone is on the same page.
Open Lines of Communication for HR issues
Additionally, all managers should be providing employees with a group chat or open forum which is dedicated to hearing concerns in order to address issues in a constructive and transparent way. When it comes to conflict management, there are always ways that you can mitigate and resolve conflict easily in your organization.
How Do You Improve Communication Remotely?
If you feel that workplace communication has deteriorated since your company has begun working from home, there are a number of steps that you can take as a business leader to get communications back on track.
Remember, effective communication is vital for strong team culture.
Try some of our tried and tested tips for ensuring that your team’s communication skills continue to excel even when working from home:
- Establish how information is to be shared online e.g. email, group chat or collaborative team software programs
- Set up regular touchpoints each day such as a morning coffee chat or digital lunch breaks to connect with other team members or just to catch up socially
- Clarify the responsibilities that each team member has while working from home and what it means to be a good digital team member
The art of communication is one that all leaders need to cultivate especially in times like these when skills like active listening can make a huge improvement to employee communication levels.
Training Company: How We Can Provide Long-Term Solutions
Managing employees as they are working remotely can be a challenge especially if this is something that you’ve never experienced. However, with the right leadership and communication skills, you will be effective at ensuring your workplace culture is kept intact and cohesive even when employees aren’t in the office together.
With our Insights Discovery programs and Conflict Management trainings we can help your team learn to effectively communicate. Training Company helps employees understand their communication preferences and styles. We teach you the skills to recognize another person’s communication in order for you to respond in the most appropriate and effective way. We also help you understand how to not take conflict personally and address the miscommunication proactively.
Here at the Training Company, we can help your business to understand the skills that are needed for keeping communication effective and the stress management techniques to keep employees happy and productive. Our extensive list of courses is accessible through our Learning Management System and can be facilitated online or in-person.
Interested in hearing about how Training Company can help you put long-term communication solutions in place in your company?