Tension in personal situations is awkward enough, but apply that to the workplace and it can be downright uncomfortable. As a business owner, managing tension and conflict between employees is an inevitable part of the job — and if not handled promptly can put a huge dent in your bottom line.
In 2017, Inc. cited a landmark study on workplace conflict that found U.S. employees spend 2.8 hours a week dealing with conflict. This equates to an estimated $359 billion in paid company hours.
Fortunately, there are effective ways to manage tension among your team to help maintain a positive work atmosphere and company culture.
1. Acknowledge the Conflict Immediately
Don’t sit back and hope your employees will work the situation out on their own, allowing the tension to build. This can lead to negative consequences for your business, such as poor productivity and low office morale. Acknowledge the conflict between the involved parties immediately, and respectfully uncover the nature of the issue along with the facts.
2. Decide How You Want to Meet with the Employees Involved
Employees who love their jobs perform better and stay with their companies longer. However, according to Gallup, only 15% of employees worldwide are truly engaged in their current roles. Put another way, this year, 52% of U.S. workers plan to hunt for a new job, and of those, 54% landed their current job less than a year ago, Adtaxi reports.
That speaks to a larger trend of smart business
owners creating cultures that appeal to workers’ needs, like a work-life balance
or flex time. But first, you need to find, train and retain the right
“The most difficult aspect of hiring and training employees is finding the right match for the employee and your company,” says Linda Gadwood, owner of Omaha, NE-based LogoLinda LLC.. “From the company side, [that means finding] someone who’ll show up and be fully engaged with my business. From the employee side, [they’re looking for] a company that allows them to use their talents.”
We asked four industry business owners and experts to weigh in
on six key areas for finding and retaining the best employees.
Behind every good business are good people; the focused, passionate, reliable people representing your company along every step of the customer journey.
However, profitability and time savings aside, putting the success of your business in the hands of others isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. Regardless of how skilled an employee might be, it can be difficult to delegate and relinquish total control. A difficulty that only digs its heels deeper when employee roles aren’t being filled to the best of their ability (and necessity).
This is why properly vetting and investing in quality candidates upfront is so important – not just for your own sanity, but for the longevity of your business. Here are some things to consider to help recruit the right employees.
Design the Right Roles
A job description is not the sole indicator of quality when it comes to who applies to your screen printing business, but it certainly plays its part. If you want the right people to see the value in applying to your openings, put in the time for building out thoughtful, thorough job descriptions.
Use the questions below to help you summarize expectations, while also showcasing company values:
What skill sets are required?
Where are you willing to be more flexible for the right person?
What tasks should be expected on a day-to-day basis, in addition to those that’ll speak to long-term growth potential?
Think Outside the Experience Box
Today’s recruiters (86%) and employers (62%) believe the labor market is now candidate-driven, making it pretty difficult to reel in any applications – let alone from highly-qualified job seekers. The key is to remain flexible on certain technicalities.
As you consider what makes an employee right for your business, embrace the idea of looking beyond experience. For example, a novice screen printer with a strong design portfolio may be a better long-term investment for your company, than someone who simply checks the box for 5-6 years of previous related experience.
Be Mindful of Compatible Personalities
There are certain traits you should look for across every potential employee stepping through your door. You want people that can solve problems, show up on time, learn quickly, and bring a general sense of positivity and passion for the work they do. However, this doesn’t mean everyone has to execute those types of characteristics in the same way.
Personalities and work-style preferences are bound to differ — it’s unavoidable, it doesn’t mean different will inevitably clash. Take stock of the types of personalities currently on staff:
Is there a way to produce a bit of yin to the yang?
Are there any overlapping weaknesses with current employees that can be complemented with strengths in the next hiring session?
Based on the potential new role, what specific personality traits are needed to perform the job well? E.g. Attention to detail for screen printers or extroverts for customer support representatives.
Ask the Right Interview Questions
It’s probably fair to say you’d be a little put off if an interviewee showed up having done zero preparation (anyone would be). That same standard applies to you as the hiring manager. You can’t expect to properly gauge the qualifications of the interviewee if you haven’t thought through what it is you actually want to ask them.
On a very basic level, asking the right interview questions starts with focusing on things that aren’t easily answered with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’. The questions should encourage open-ended responses and discussion.
Additionally, the more details you can coax out of someone, the better. When a job seeker is able to go beyond glossing over their resume and bring forth specific insights, they’re validating experience and a knowledge base.
If you’re able to include another individual from the shop in the process, do so. Bringing another brain to the table helps gut check whether your feelings — positive or negative — toward a potential candidate are echoed and valid.
What ‘musts’ have found their way into your hiring process over the years? Comment below.