Every workplace has friction—that’s the simple truth. Anytime you have a few people working together on something, differences surface that create drag. We shouldn’t be surprised when conflict or tensions arise. Instead, we should be prepared and have some tactics on hand to facilitate a cooperative working environment and healthier relationships. Friction has a bona fide upside.
In my decades of work in the field of Human Resources, I’ve learned that 3 major things have the potential to create workplace conflicts:
- Inadequate communication
- Lack of emotional control
- Indefinite goals and boundaries
Here’s an example of all three creating a common situation of friction:
Project X must be finished in two months. The lower level manager fails to set legible parameters on a project when expectations and roles are not defined for the work. As the manager delegates the project, too much is left to speculation. Co-workers attempt to complete the work, but soon run into interpersonal problems as different ideas emerge. Frustration increases, tempers flare, morale sinks, and passive aggressive sabotage and gossip start. In other words, gridlock. A few team members inform the manager; however, by then, emotion is driving the situation. Decision-making is maligned and communication continues to falter. The project is tanking.
What to do?
A lot of repair work is needed to get things back on track and keep the project moving forward. First—and this is important—ditch email as a resolution tool. A sit-down, face-to-face meeting is necessary, and a concise description of roles and responsibilities must be presented. But a few other things are invaluable, too.
It’s important to reestablish a healthy culture with the team and ensure acceptable behaviormoving forward. This shouldn’t be done by lecturing. It shouldn’t be expressed in an exasperated tone either. Rather, make sure you conduct your meeting by modeling respect and integrity. Assume the best in your co-workers and back it up with words and actions that make it clear. Graciousness and amiability should preside, not hostility and annoyance.
Get the Right “Game Face” On.? Prepare yourself. Your “game face” must be a commitment to the greater good plus good faith efforts to buoy the environment and create a better working situation. It’s crucial to find common ground. This can be done with a simple and sincere reference to everyone wanting to do well, or a mention of some of your company’s most important values, or by outlining the basic goals of the project. It may be wisest to use a bit of each.
Conflict = Opportunity for Improvement.? It’s normal to dislike friction. Just remember, excellent organizations and great leaders have a habit of transforming conflict and tensions into occasions that make things work more smoothly, efficiently, and improve the positive bonds between employees. Don’t shrink from this opportunity. Instead of dreading conflict or becoming paralyzed by it, realize that conflicts can harvest new ideas and innovation—not just in how your company works, but also in how co-workers connect with each other.
Grace, empathy, forgiveness, cooperation, and better listening can be the result. If you treasure-hunt in the situation and invite that same positive attitude from your employees during conflict, better times are ahead.
Mark A. Griffin is founder and Chief Consultant at In His Name HR LLC. He has over 20 years of HR experience. In His Name HR helps organizations build high-performance Human Resource programs.
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Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.
~ Matthew 9:37-38
This was so very true when it was written and still so very true today. The workers available to bring the good word to the world of Christ’s saving blood are few. This piece of Scripture is the foundation of what it is that we do here at In HIS Name HR. We help create the workers; we develop Christian business leader, to be the worker to gently get the message out to the workplace. I have worked for organizations where we took care of employees’ financial needs by paying them. We took care of their medical needs by providing health care benefits. But we hardly come across any companies, even Christian-owned companies, that provide a venue to reach employees’ spiritual needs.
Christian-owned companies should feel obligated to provide spiritual benefits
We can no longer go to church on Sunday and work on Monday without addressing our faith. We are obligated to develop our organizations in a way in which it is comfortable for employees to be led to Christ.
If you are sharing your faith with your teams, if you are developing ways of integrating Christ into your workplace, you are building a “Kingdom Minded” Organization.
Help our community of readers
For those of you in the “Marketplace”, How do your share your faith at work? When do you know you have gone too far? We would love to know your experiences.
Mark Griffin is founder and Chief Consultant at In His Name HR LLC. He has over 20 years of HR experience. Follow Mark and In HIS Name HR on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Over my 20-plus-year career in human resources, I’ve noticed that while people will endure fewer amenities and less pay, there are four reasons skillful workers will leave for another job.
(1) No opportunity – When employees sense no potential for career progress, or leaders are unaware that advancement is important, employees look elsewhere for better options.
(2) Not knowing the dollar value of their benefits – Pay and benefits is a topic often avoided in many workplaces. Many organizations, however, offer competitive pay and often benefits that cost thousands of dollars, and employees haven’t a clue. (Think PTO, like legal holidays, sick days, and vacation days; life insurance, long-term disability (LTD), and short-term disability (STD) programs; health insurance, including vision and dental; and wellness programs.) The costs of all these programs add up. When organizations take the time to periodically make employees aware of the total cost of all the benefits at their disposal, employees gain a greater appreciation how much value they receive in their job.
(3) Feeling unappreciated – When employees receive little or no gratitude or acknowledgment for their contributions, it feels demoralizing — no wonder they seek more rewarding work elsewhere. The biggest surprise? Many times, during exit interviews, departing employees disclose that a simple, verbal “thank you” would have made all the difference. However, in many organizations, too often managers fail to do even that.
(4) Sheer Boredom – Without savvy leaders or a solid idea of the big picture, employees don’t see concrete, interesting ways to contribute, outside of the ordinary scope of their jobs. Things grow tedious and employees hunt for new challenges to make work feel more meaningful.
So, while you might think your employees only want higher pay and a corner office, or that the trend among employees is to feel “entitled,” the truth is that the best employees are satisfied with simpler, more basic and fundamental management approaches—and a better explanation of the benefits they currently have.
Be thoughtful — find out what motivates your employees! This simple investment will ensure improved worker retention, enhanced overall morale, and increased company loyalty. And isn’t that what you really want?
What can you do as an employer right now to keep your best employees? Consider asking them. That’s right. Simply spending time with employees in focus groups and roundtable discussions can help you to help them by making basic changes to ensure you keep your greatest asset happy and encouraged.
One more thing…What’s the Top Reason People Quit?
This 2017 Inc. magazine article reveals that the primary reason employees quit is:
People leave managers, not companies.
Marcel Schwantes, while researching the topic of turnover, found that 50% of employees left their job “to get away from their manager to improve their overall life at some point in their career.”
Keep in mind that as a new generation of workers comes of age, the issue of turnover will continue to grow. Many employees now look at their lives differently than workers did 20 and 30 years ago. Most value relationships above all else, and when a manager starts stealing their joy, they won’t hesitate to look for work elsewhere.
The workplace ladder is simply not as important to young workers today as in prior generations. Many are talented and capable, but will invariably choose a desirable manager over monetary or organizational rewards.
If you are concerned about retaining talented employees while also saving time and money in hiring and training costs, remember these top 4 reasons and the new trend that makes talented people quit. It could make keeping the great people you need a lot easier than you thought.
Mark Griffin is founder and Chief Consultant at In His Name HR LLC. He has over 20 years of HR experience. Follow Mark on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Mark Griffin is founder and Chief Consultant at In His Name HR LLC. He has over 20 years of HR experience. Follow Mark on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Want to make High Performance HR Systems including Employee Relations a reality in your organization? Contact Mark and make it happen.
10For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Part of leading people is developing them to be the best they can be, not only in the workplace but within their families and communities as well. Look at your people from a whole person perspective, not just a ‘worker” perspective. Give your people the opportunity to do greatness in their lives and they will do great things for you. Developing your people skills can impact the communities in which they live and in which you do business. Many companies are putting programs in place that help match employees’ interests to volunteer opportunities in the community. Some companies are shutting down for a week and building homes with Habitat for Humanity, for example.
Develop your people not only to be their best at work but their best at home and their communities.
I have often wanted to manage a process where a company would inspire their people by running a contest in which each employee could present why their volunteer organization is the most impactful. The winner would receive a considerable prize to help fund the employee’s efforts. If you are promoting good works by your employees not only in the workplace, but in the world we live in, you are going great things for God, and you are building a “Kingdom Minded” Organization.
Help our community of readers
Do you help your employees help others? How do you find your employees’ strengths and match them to community involvement? We would love to know what it is you have going on.
Are you complying with all the proper state and federal labor laws?
If not, it could cost you everything.
In large corporations, an entire human resources (HR) department navigates the complex minefield of federal and state labor laws. Most small organizations think of HR as an afterthought, or HR responsibilities like hiring, benefits, compliance, and payroll falls to a few people who aren’t properly trained. This can be a pricey mistake. Laws concerning overtime, unlawful termination, and equal rights are just a few areas that trip up organizations, big and small, all the time.
Continue to CLA to read the entire post.
Mark Griffin is founder and Chief Consultant at In His Name HR LLC. He has over 20 years of HR experience. Learn more about Mark’s journey in HR by watching this short video. In addition you can also follow him on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Transportation Supervisor – 2nd Shift
New Holland Transport Inc.
In an economy that is yielding very little career opportunities, we are excited to be retained by this wonderful growing organization that provides trucking transportation services to the Pennsylvania market.
The 2nd Shift Supervisor is responsible for supervising Pick-up & Delivery Drivers, loading and reloading freight and ensuring that quality service is provided to each customer. The main focus of the Transportation Supervisor is maintaining the highest possible percentage of on-time deliveries.
Some Essential Duties
- At the beginning of the shift, review the evening schedule with the Dispatcher.
- Meet with General Manager Transportation for the list of maintenance and other jobs for the evening.
- Relate closely with all 2nd shift employees to ensure efficient use of time.
- Ensure that all trucks be unloaded on time according to priority.
- Ensure that all trucks are loaded by dispatch time.
- Develop relationship with STBI Dock Manager to ensure efficiency at STBI.
- Ability to delegate work effectively to others.
- Provides detailed evaluations to subordinates outlining strengths, opportunities for growth and normal goals.
- Enforce and apply all stated company policies.
- Interfaces with others in the organization to ensure customer deadlines are met.
- Directs workers in adjusting processes and equipment to meet shipping deadlines.
Some Positional Requirements
- High school diploma or GED or equivalent experience.
- 2 years related experience and 4 years dispatch experience preferred.
- Class A CDL.
- Ability to read, analyze, and interpret technical procedures, financial reports or governmental regulations.
- Ability to write reports, business correspondences, and standard operating procedures.
- Ability to effectively present information and respond to questions from groups of managers, customers, and the general public.
Due to the overwhelming response we anticipate we ask that you are patient during the selection and interview process. All qualified applicants will be notified.
Cover letters should include why you should be considered for the position and what would make you the best candidate.
Serious and confidential inquiries: HR@InHISNameHR.com
To receive updates on other positions we are recruiting for as well as our weekly blog updates, subscribe here: Click
1 Timothy 6–10
But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
In this passage we learn that, if we have food and clothing, we will be content. But many of us are not content. Christian Business Leaders must recognize this and take heed: we are to be the light to our employees, to be the beacon and the example.
Church should not be the only place you grow the kingdom for God.
How many times do we fail ourselves and our people when we don’t take the well being of all of our employees into consideration when making decisions? How often do we think only of growing the kingdom for God at our church, but not at our workplace? Where is our heart when it comes to making the hard decision in benefits design, and, rather than encouraging and developing healthy behaviors, we instead punish and increase premiums without appropriate consideration?
If you first love your brothers and sisters within your companies, if you truly care for them by engaging them in the decision making and future building of your company, if you partner with them for the good of themselves and their families, you are building a “Kingdom Minded” company.
Help our community of readers
How have you engaged your employees in the decision making and future building of your company? What advice would you give to those who have never done so? Thank you for your thoughts. Your contribution helps others.
This Post From Guest Blogger Buzz Rooney
I was blessed to spend the early part of my career as a staffing manager for light industrial jobs. One of the most valuable lessons I learned was not to judge people’s work ethic or abilities solely on their aptitude in filling out a job application or writing a resume. Some of the hardest working, most loyal and dedicated employees had the most difficult time writing an explanation of their previous job experience.
Resume writing and everything else that goes along with the job search is stressful. Most people are not taught how to track their performance and work product to build a comprehensive professional profile. Admittedly, my own resume was a hot mess until I reached out to a professional friend to give it a much needed makeover! Struggle in this area is commonplace. One would think this would make recruiters and hiring managers less critical of applications and resumes.
However, when I made the switch to more traditional HR, I found the exact opposite to be the custom. Candidates were being discarded for minor errors and/or choosing unsophisticated descriptors.
John 7:24 (NLT) – “Look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly”.
In screening and reviewing resumes to find suitable candidates for open positions, look for 3 things:
Experience. Does the person’s work history establish practice in the same or similar type of role? Has the person ever worked in the same or similar industry? Did the person perform the same or similar tasks in a past position? (Romans 2:6 [NLT] – “He will judge everyone according to what they have done”)
Education. Has the person taken courses that would prepare him/her for this position? What kind of coursework has he/she completed that would teach the problem-solving skills necessary for success at this job? (Proverbs 18:15 [NKJ] – “The heart of the prudent acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge”)
Enthusiasm. Does the tone of the resume display a positive attitude about work? Are there accomplishments which demonstrate excellence? Is there a pattern of progressive responsibility in the work that shows ambition? Do the projects outline the ability to both lead and provide support within a team? (Colossians 3:23 [NLT] – “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people”)
Do not be so concerned with superfluous things like formatting, stylized punctuation or accidentally typing “manger” instead of “manager.” Focusing heavily on unessential things will cause us to miss those diamonds in the rough.
We all make errors, both before and during our employment journeys. We have to use caution in judging others too harshly – especially knowing our own skills, abilities and practices are not necessarily at the best level they can be (Matthew 7).
Instead, by focusing on identifying the potential talent in the resumes we receive, we can rest assured we will yield good candidates and build a strong team of staff members to complete the work.
Buzz Rooney is a practicing HR Professional with over a decade of experience in the production, manufacturing and retail industries. She has Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies with a focus on Organizational Communication and Leadership as well as a Master’s Degree in Human Resources Management. Buzz is also a blogger and part-time HR consultant. Read more of her writings, connect and contact her at www.thebuzzonhr.com
It was a gray day in the fall of 2003. I looked around the room at all the other walking wounded, the outplaced, downsized, reorganized and laid off comrades I had come to know during the past several weeks. As we were heading into the Christmas season, I would say in jest that we were just stuck in the land of misfit toys. It was funny for a few seconds, until the stark reality of the situation struck our hearts.
There may be times in your career when you find yourself stuck in the land of misfit toys.
We were participants in outplacement with the firm of Lee Hecht Harris, tucked neatly into the suburbs of Detroit, where thousands would need their services over the next decade. The firm would, of course, enjoy prosperity; however, it was unfortunately at the expense of others. James Craft, the leader of the misfit toys or, better stated, Career Coach, would lead us through this difficult time. Some folks would come and go fairly quickly, but, for the most part, many came but few left.
One key takeaway from my weeks of time with the group and James was something that James harped over again and again: Don’t put your eggs in one basket — diversify your career and time into different areas. Although he made the importance clear to start a side hobby business, invest in a franchise outside your daily job, create a plan to have multiple streams of income, etc., I really did not get it until almost 10 years later. James, I believe, was a visionary; he knew what was coming to the workplace years in advance. But I, like many others, still had an eye toward the past, and yearned for a long-term relationship with a company, just like my father had had.
I guess it was because, in my heart, in my core, my own desire would be to do just that, devote 30 years to a company and then retire. I was still thinking how people should be able to give their time and years of service to the company and have the company return the favor with security. Today’s reality is that only a very small portion of people in the workplace will realize this rare relationship. It is no longer the norm, and definitely scarcer than it was back in 2003.
It is highly unlikely that you will work for one company for the rest of your life.
It won’t happen. Even people who went into the military and government service are now finding no long-term commitment there. Layoffs have started and will continue in these sectors. As a result, you will work longer than your parents had to work. So, you had best like what you’re doing, because you will be doing it for a long time! Most important, you are going to require multiple income streams to make it. A paycheck is not going to cut it. The quicker you figure this out, accept it and embrace it, the better off you are. Don’t be like me and wait almost 10 years! If I had listened to James, I would be further ahead in developing these streams than I am today.
So what has transpired since 2003 for my own career path? Well, most significant is that I have given my life to Jesus. My personal desire for security through employers has been released and traded for the eternal security of Jesus in my heart. I have navigated through an additional downsizing, followed by two other companies; both of which have shrunk considerably because of the changes in manufacturing coupled with the downturn in the economy.
One way to diversify yourself and enhance your capabilities is by volunteering. I have donated much of my time over the past seven years helping job seekers who have either been laid off, downsized or are just plain unhappy with what they are doing career-wise. By doing so, I inadvertently developed my career coaching skills and also created a model to help people navigate the exploration of the difficult task of redefining their career path.
I have also created various forms of cash streams. A good friend of mine, Allan Collins, of Success in HR, calls it “side hustling.” It means finding something you enjoy doing and monetizing it. Allan sold comic books for years, diversifying his income. Many people start an eBay business or an online portal selling specialty items. I started a Internet Media Business separate from my HR consulting firm that not only provides a cash flow for my retirement savings, but also prospers the sales agent and gives back to a counseling ministry for each sale made.
I launched an additional offering in conjunction with my HR firm, based on my 20-plus years of coaching job seekers: ChristianCareerCoaching.com. This has proved a success for my business beyond my expectations but, as important, has made great impact in righting people in their careers.
I believe that God wants us to be happy at work!
Work should not be awful. If it is, God is telling us to make a change!
This new normal requires continuing education, as well. I was fortunate to have received a BA in Human Resources and a Masters in Business Administration. Several years into my career, I attended several Executive Education programs at the University of Michigan. But, after those formal programs, I did little in furthering my knowledge. I did become Green belt, qualified in Six Sigma, and taught many programs through the years in the subject areas of Finance, Human Resources, Supervision, and Training and Development. But delivering training is not the same as working in that field. Except for the occasional seminar, I felt myself stagnating. So, just recently, I invested in myself and my firm and spent time becoming a certified practitioner in the Myers Briggs Type Instrument (MBTI). It was well worth the time and dollar investment, as I increased my skills and my credibility with my clients.
So, the new normal as I see it is that you cannot rely any longer on a long-term commitment by an employer. It is statistically improbable. Volunteer and enrich yourself and others. Follow James’s and Allan’s advice and create a “side hustling” cash stream. And, finally, never stop learning. Step out of your comfort zone and rekindle your relationship with learning. Enter a Master’s program, get certified on a program, get a license for use of a program, or become a practitioner of a tool that can enhance your marketability. If you do all of these, you will become more resilient to the New Career Normal.
Before publishing this, I shared this with several people, all of whom have considered at least one of these points. What are your thoughts? Is there a new normal we are missing? We would love to hear your opinion.