Are you kept more busy managing your employees’ conflicts than performing the duties that are your responsibility? You’re not alone, according to an Accountemps study.
According to a survey of 270 financial managers by an independent survey firm on behalf of Accountemps, Canadian executives spend on average 10% of their time managing conflicts between employees, which represents about four hours in a work week. If differences of opinions at the office are reasonable and demonstrate that the employees concerned are passionate about the problems they encounter, Accountemps emphasizes that this should not prevent the management team from doing its own work. It is therefore necessary to take measures so that employees learn to respect the opinions of their colleagues and find solutions quickly to prevent the situation from degenerating.
Learn to be tolerant
Accountemps suggests for this four attitudes to be encouraged among staff: demonstrate empathy and make an effort to see the situation from the colleague’s point of view; tackle the problem as soon as it rears its head to prevent it from worsening and spreading to others; ask a supervisor or HR staff member to play the role of mediator; and move on once the dispute has been settled.
It should be noted that Canada is not really too bad, since the same survey conducted in the United States showed that on the other side of the border CFOs spend 15% or their time – six hours a week – on the same problems.