Ever-evolving generations means employers need to stay on top of a changing workforce. Millennials and Gen Z employees tend to have different values from Gen X and Baby Boomer employees, and these changes matter as younger workers move into leadership roles and shift the culture of how we work just as previous generations have done before. How might these different values — and the needs that come with them — change how employers can address the modern workplace and conflict management?
The Modern Workplace and Conflict Management
Engagement, morale, retention, stress — all of these aspects and more can increase an organization’s penchant for conflict. With marketplace demands and an evolving workforce’s expectations at odds, how can employers reduce conflict-prone events on their teams? Getting to know the values of individual employees is an important step, but here are some tips on what to ask about in order to support your workplace and conflict management:
1. What Adds Value to Employees?
Maintaining lower stress levels at work is one way to prevent coworker conflict. Incentivizing high morale can come by way of recognition and compensation. But not all employees value the same reinforcements. Younger employees tend to have different expectations around financial compensation, time off or flexible hours, the ability to work from home, and often, in return, work after hours and stay reachable even on their days off. Knowing what will motivate your employee is one of the easiest and more effective conflict resolution techniques in the workplace.
2. Are We Embracing New Technology?
One of the reasons younger generations demand more from employers is because employees who are digital natives can pretty much work around-the-clock. They can utilize technology to do things in half the time or at half the price. They have access to information that can fuel innovation and generate real-time feedback with potential customers online. So employers should ensure they’re supplying their team with the technology that allows them to succeed. When technology becomes a chronic point of frustration, employees will become more conflict-prone as they’ll feel frustratingly prohibited from doing their job. Technology can also help promote healthy communication, thereby lowering the risk of having to resolve conflict with coworker.
3. Are We Cultivating Leaders?
Workplace and conflict management can have a better relationship with more hands on deck. There’s safety in numbers when it comes to reducing conflict so ensuring that younger employees are being offered opportunities to build leadership skills is important. Arm your employees with skills that can strengthen their leadership qualities, including basic communication, conflict competence, de-escalation, and how to cultivate the right company culture.
Dealing with conflict in a workplace that’s modern should reflect modern values. Get support from neutral and experienced professionals who can help you cultivate a culture where conflict can be managed effectively across your teams. Contact Pollack Peacebuilding Systems today to get the right solutions for your organization.