How do you recognize internal differences that have not been brought to your attention?
Harmony in the organization is essential for a good working climate and continuous growth. Nonetheless, there are some matters that arise and disrupt it. An ideal example is differences between and among employees. Conflicts between and among employees are normal; they can disagree on social, political, personal, or job-related matters. Sometimes the disagreements can be as distinct as verbal outbursts, reporting one another, or slow progress in team projects. Other times, they can manifest in other ways to affect workplace climate and productivity.
As a business leader, it is your responsibility to create and ensure good working environment. There are innumerable exchanges that take place and they may have a negative impact on the workplace culture. This article has a list of signs that can indicate disharmony so you can intervene before they get out of hand.
a. Disrespectful interruptions
Interactions during meetings can give you a glimpse of the nature of connection in the team. When some people are not in good terms, they aggressively and disrespectfully interrupt others. They show in clear ways that anything contrary to their beliefs and attitudes is wrong and does not deserve expression or attention. In instances of disharmony, tools of attack can be extracted from personal life to professional. Some, even after recognizing the impact of their behaviour, they remain adamant and fail to apologize.
b. Splitting work
Some projects require people to work together from beginning to end rather than splitting. However, in case of differences, team members can divide the tasks to avoid meeting eye to eye. Others form sub-groups depending on how they get along with one another. This often makes it hard to follow up on progress, combine the results and get the actual picture of a project’s status, or finish within the allocated time.
c. Not being aware of progress
Excellence is the result of collective efforts. However, in cases of friction, you may realize that some people are not aware of the progress in important matters, despite being in the team. They can also show little to no desire of knowing.
d. Not wanting to team up
Truthfully, some people are hard to work with; perhaps they are too aggressive, slow, independent, or uncooperative. However, when there are differences within, you may realize that employees prefer to work alone and when suggestions of teaming up are raised, they disagree or agree half heartedly.
Even when there are matters that need group address or are beyond one’s grasp, you may realize that some prefer to scratch their heads for hours rather than seeking help.
e. Blame games
If people are unable to resolve their differences, they can easily adopt a habit of blaming one another, whether the matters are directly related to the person they are blaming or not. It is daunting trying to determine who is at fault and if there are time-sensitive projects on the line, disappointments can follow.
f. Unhealthy competition
Differences can make your employees go as far as ruining each other’s reputations or setting traps for one another. Organizations where such habits are endemic are at risk of suffering reputational damages, lawsuits, and the accompanying financial losses.
g. A hard chase on individual credit
Giving credit is important to motivate your team. However, when employees start focusing too much on getting credit for their individual efforts than group win, it can be a sign of disconnection from the team. Their ideas may have been pushed aside or they do not have a chance of raising them and to feel like they belong, they chase every opportunity to be seen and heard.
h. Personal attacks
An angry person can easily veer off the main topic of discussion and use a private matter to weaken a person. If you realize that your employees are using personal matters to attack one another, that is a sign of bad blood. The source of conflict may not be related to their job responsibilities, but such attacks can ruin the workplace environment hence the need for a quick address.
The signs listed above are not always indicative of conflicts between or among employees. However, they can point to an issue that needs to be quickly addressed before it goes out of hand and affects the entire organization.