Conflict in the workplace can have a negative impact on productivity and how your employees relate to one another. As a leader in your company, it’s up to you to help resolve disputes before they have long-lasting consequences for your business. This guide can help you in promoting healthier resolutions to conflicts among your employees.

Know When There’s a Problem

Even if you haven’t been made aware of a specific problem, you can identify conflict between employees by observing changes in behavior. For example, there may be a deeper conflict between two employees who seem to be very competitive. If there’s also a high turnover rate of other employees who work with those individuals, that can also indicate a problem. An unresolved conflict will also result in an increase of complaints from other employees and a reduction in productivity. Once you can recognize these signs, you can begin implementing positive changes.

Look for a Root Cause

Often, the issues your employees cite as the cause of the dispute is little more than a smoke screen. They’re likely hiding a deeper conflict that has caused bad feelings and hostility to fester. This means you won’t make any progress in resolving the conflict until you get your employees to reveal the real reason there’s so much animosity between them. Once you get to that root cause, you can begin to address it openly.

Learn to be Diplomatic

After you get to the underlying cause of the dispute, you can bring both parties together in an attempt to resolve the problem. In this scenario, you will serve as an impartial negotiator, helping each side to express their feelings. It’s important for you to resist taking a side, or placing blame. Instead, encourage your two employees to discuss their feelings and come to a mutually agreeable resolution. A conflict can be resolved by more clearly defining each employee’s roles, or it may be as simple as one employee offering an apology to the other.

While you don’t want to put yourself in the middle of a conflict, it is up to you as a leader to see that the problem is resolved. Getting your employees to make peace will help them communicate better in the workplace, while creating a more positive environment for your other employees. This will help give your entire workforce a much needed morale boost.