How to Avoid Personality Clashes on Your Team

No matter how much you try to promote harmony in the workplace, conflict and personality clashes are a fact of life. So rather than trying to eliminate conflict altogether, it’s a question of working to avoid it where possible and manage it when it erupts. Ongoing conflict and clashes between retail employees makes for a…

No matter how much you try to promote harmony in the workplace, conflict and personality clashes are a fact of life.

So rather than trying to eliminate conflict altogether, it’s a question of working to avoid it where possible and manage it when it erupts.

Ongoing conflict and clashes between retail employees makes for a miserable workplace, reduced productivity and sometimes the loss of valued workers.

So, get wise to the triggers for personal conflict and measures which can help smooth over troubled waters.

Triggers for personal clashes

  • Background. With contemporary workplaces increasingly multi-cultural and multi-generational, there are plenty of opportunities for personal conflict among employees, including religion, ethnicity and politics.
  • Work style. Some like to cooperate, others to compete. When a highly competitive and fiercely individual person works alongside one who loves collaboration and team playing, trouble can erupt.
  • Attitude. Upbeat personalities can rub downbeat personalities the wrong way, and vice versa. Bubbly versus introverted is not always a happy match.

How to avoid personality clashes among employees

Make smart working decisions

Wherever possible, match employees who are compatible in terms of personality and cultural fit. This applies to seating arrangements, working groups and collaborations.

Promote a tolerant workplace

Many workplace disputes can be traced back to rigid expectations and intolerant attitudes. The more you can impress on your employees the importance of an accepting, tolerant attitude to others, the more harmonious your workplace is likely to be.

Sometimes workers just need a little guidance on talking sensitively, approaching problems carefully, and being respectful of others’ differences.

Know your employees

Talk to your workers and encourage feedback. Get to know them on an ongoing basis and show you are interested in their welfare. This way, you understand far more about what makes them tick, and you get to hear about clashes as they arise.

If you know what’s happening in the workplace, you can address it. This enables you to deal with problems as soon as they occur, preventing conflicts becoming full-blown.

Drill down into problems

That obnoxious employee might not necessarily have an obnoxious personality. They might be handling stress inappropriately or tackling major problems at home.

It’s always worth talking in depth to troublesome employees and getting to the bottom of possible challenges they face. If you’re really prepared to listen, it’s surprising how even entrenched issues can be resolved.

Be professional.

Don’t get drawn into conflicts yourself. Avoid taking ‘sides’ or getting emotionally involved in your employees’ clashes. Staying detached from it will give you better insight and allow you to work out a lasting solution.

Dealing with full-blown conflict

Sometimes conflict is so entrenched, and emotions are so inflamed that your best efforts just don’t work. If it’s time to call in the experts, consider formal conflict resolution training for yourself and your staff.

If you need help in your retail recruitment, please contact one of our dedicated consultants who can help you select employees who are a good cultural and behavioural fit for your workplace.