How to Resolve Workplace Conflict

When employees from different backgrounds, styles, and diversities come to work together, workplace conflict becomes inevitable. While working in a towing service field, we had teams from different diversities, and managing conflict was top on our list to create harmony and a safe working environment. Workplace conflict can occur in different ways. It can be between employees, between supervisors, among entire teams, among others. As difficult as the issue may be, it is very important to manage conflict.

Here are top ways to manage workplace conflict;

Embrace communication

Well established work environments are created by ensuring employees communicate with respect and do not use offensive language. Employees should show tolerance and be open to accepting differences among each other. They should demonstrate respect to each other regardless of the position someone holds in an organization. There is a mechanism to resolve interpersonal issues and resolve tension and conflict most nobly. Such organizations embrace open communication and there are well-set channels to facilitate communication.

 

Capable human resource

The human resource department should be capable, functional, and competent. It should develop and implement workplace conflict policies and procedures that create and manage conflict effectively. Human resource professionals should be involved in settling workplace conflicts especially those between employees and their supervisors. Teams should be encouraged to solve conflict among themselves, and human resources should only be involved when matters escalate.

 

The role of employees

Supervisors and managers have the highest role in managing workplace conflict. However, the first step to solving conflict should always start with the employees themselves. Employees are advised to solve their conflicts internally and an external source must only be called upon when internal teams can’t reach an agreement. Organizations also need to employ rational people who can handle and manage themselves. There should be set guidelines that spell out how the conflict should be managed and handled.

 

Conflict management training

To curb the adverse effects of conflict, managers and human resource professionals are now turning to conflict management training. It is a kind of training that takes many forms and covers a lot of topics. Conducting this training happens through workshops and one-to-one sessions. Human resource specialists select an approach that is based on the type of workplace conflict and needs to be sufficiently addressed.

 

Developing strong employee relationships

When conflict occurs, it must be resolved quickly and satisfactorily. It is always important to try to prevent conflict. This is done by creating a harmonious environment that discourages conflict from happening in the first place. Such an environment is created from interactive communication, trust, and ethical behavior. there should be clear expectations and employees need to know what to expect from their supervisors and managers.

there is no single approach or strategy in creating a positive workplace environment. There are different tools used by human resources and management to foster a better working environment. Employees need to understand how workplace conflicts can be resolved. Organizations should aim at communicating their expectations via human resource policies, employee handbook, and written contracts and agreements.

Tips on How to Negotiate Effectively

Becoming a good negotiator can make a big difference in your life – be it on career or business. It can make you earn more money – when you negotiate better pay or save money -when you negotiate better pricing. I always find my negotiation skills put to test, latest being an incidence where I was negotiating a better deal with my towing service provider, and I ended up saving 20% off the overall cost of services I received.

But how exactly do you become a good negotiator? How do you go about it – Here are some sure tips to follow;

 

Be prepared

Successful negotiations normally start with adequate preparations. if you find yourself caught up in the middle of a conversation, you need to buy time. If you get called upon a meeting that required making crucial decisions, and you were not prepared for the negotiations, request some additional time to think about the whole process. You need time to prepare so that you can out the right issues and pointer on the table. Preparations will be very useful especially when making key decisions about your future.

 

Speak up your mind

You should never be afraid to ask for what you want. Successful negotiators are very assertive and challenge everything thrown on their table. They know that every issue presented on the table is negotiable.  What makes the difference between negotiators and everyone else is negotiation consciousness. Being assertive simply means asking for what you want and refusing to take NO for an answer – that presents the basis of successful negotiation. You should also note there is a huge difference between being assertive and being aggressive. You will be assertive when you take care of your interests while at the same time maintaining respect for the other party.

 

Focus on the other side’s needs

Negotiation is a two-way process. There is more than one party involved. You should not be rigid and selfish only to have your interests heard, as doing so will break the talks. In a negotiation process, there will be one party leading the discussion. You want to take the lead and take advantage by creating the starting point. This means you will put the right issues on the table and be the one framing the rationale.

 

Do your homework

Doing your homework right can be key between getting a deal and walking away empty-handed. If there is one group of people who know how to do their homework is detectives. Gather as much crucial information before the negotiation process as possible.

You will not be able to make accurate decisions without understanding the other side’s story. The more information you have, the more facts you can bring to the take and the easy the negotiation process will be. You should never be in any hurry to make your final decision. Always take your time to evaluate your rationality before you can make the final decision. Aim higher to expect the best outcome and always be ready to walk away when your demands are utterly disrespected.

 

Best Ways to Keep Ahead of Competition

In everything we do, we are living in a world of intense competition. You have to be better than everyone else to survive and succeed. As a business, you need to maintain your market share and stay ahead of the competition. Competition exists in every sector of the market. Even in businesses that have a monopoly, they also have some form of competition they have to deal with.

To stay ahead of the competition, here are simple and powerful ways to go about it.

 

Solve customer pain points

The first step to establishing yourself as a monopoly is to identify and solve your customers’ pain points. The issue here is to provide solutions to your customers and provide them with what they want. You only need to fulfill their needs and not to sell anything. Your products and services will automatically start to sell more the moment you solve your customer problems.

 

Build your niche

You need to build your niche and have more room for your business. Any more crowded market will have less scope for expansion. To build your niche, it is important to offer something unique to your customers. You can create your niche through storytelling around your products. When you tell a story, you become part of your prospects’ lifestyle. Also, focus on specialization as it leads to a scalable and successful business.

 

Get pricing right

A perfect pricing strategy will be based on market psychology. Before you can set your pricing, you must understand the competition. You need to identify who among your competitors is offering the best value for money. The price you set should be standard and have a competitive advantage. Every market will have three segments – which include the lower, middle, and upper classes. It is upon you to position your pricing according to the market you are interested in.

Innovate

You should always make innovation with your best friend. When you innovate, you can create a powerful disruptive force that can send your competition packing. You need to innovate with your products and services and never shy to take risks. Make use of technology to enhance the capabilities of your business. Remind your competitors you are constantly innovating and always be unpredictable.

Offer great customer service

Customers are the life of your business. A happy customer results in more sales and profits for your business. Success in your business will be realized by offering great customer service. People love businesses that offer exceptional customer service. If you can delight your customers with great customer service, you will make them be loyal customers who will be willing to refer your business to your friends and family.

Hire passionate employees and train them to understand your products and services. Ensure your employees are patient, they are good listeners and can satisfy the demands of your customers. Have a customer care team that is always courteous and respectable. They should also be accommodating, and responsive to customer queries. Work toward establishing a brand defined by customer excellence.

How to close sales quickly and effectively

Sales is without a doubt one of the toughest areas in business that anyone can get involved in. It is also one of the biggest skills every self-made millionaire has. On the contrary, it is one of the toughest areas that many entrepreneurs struggle with. It is both an art and a science, and to master it, you must spend a considerable amount of time practicing it.

Today, consumers are changing the way they make purchasing decisions. It is important to keep reevaluating your sales strategy to ensure you remain on top of your game. A good sales strategy takes a lot of careful planning to ensure everything goes per the plan. Here are simple yet very effective tips on how to close sales quickly and effectively.

 

Identify the decision-maker

No matter what industry you want to sell, it is important to know the decision-maker to be able to close a sale quickly. In most cases, the decision-maker will send someone else into the line to collect as much information as possible so that they can know about your service, product, or company. If this is the case, do everything possible to put yourself in the head of the decision-maker and customize your sales pitch accordingly. Your best case would be to sit with the decision-maker and close a sale.

 

Be real, be yourself

During a sales process, clients will know if you are being genuine or not. It is important to show the client that you care about them and business, and that you are not just looking to close a deal. You should never come off too calculated and this may turn off people. However, do your research and be prepared as there is nothing wrong with being prepared.

 

Create a sense of urgency

You need to attach a deadline to your deal to give your clients a reason to commit. Whether it is something free or a discount, make them feel they are the drivers and they have the upper hand. You should never rush a prospect, but instead, give them a little more reason why your products or services are the right ones for them and that the right time to commit is now.

 

Overcome all objections

It is good to have a sales presentation as having one will help you overcome potential objections and speed up a sales process. If there is any question that catches you off guard, take time to find a genuine solution. You should also be very familiar with your product or service and have an outline of anticipated problems to reduce sales objections.

Know your competition

Competition is part of a business and will always be there. You need to know all areas where you have more potential and you are more competitive than your competition. It is all about knowing your product or service well and being prepared. Do your research and ensure you take note of something you are doing better than anyone else, and have these things stand out while closing a deal. Be careful with what you sell so that you don’t over-sale and create doubts to a potential prospect.

Tips to Reduce Employee Turnover Rate

Employee turnover is one of the bad experiences every business experiences on an occasional basis. Employees come and go- they must leave and this affects the flow of your business. It takes a lot of time and money to train and replace talent and that is the reason businesses must do everything possible to minimize turnover rates. If you have a high turnover rate, you must ensure you can bring those rates down.

There are free and inexpensive methods you can use to convince your employees to stay and thus reduce turnover rates. Let’s have a look at these methods.

Hire the right people

Keeping employees starts by ensuring you hire the right people. You need to hire employees who are fit and have the right skills to ensure they can match your positions. Additionally, ensure the talent you bring to a team can fit well with your company culture. You need to hire employees who have the right behavior and culture to fit with the job at hand. Ensure you give your new hires a good orientation about workplace culture and how to conduct themselves.

 

Offer competitive packages

People are attracted and motivated by good compensation. They need to have a package that helps them meet basic needs such as utilities, housing and food. They will need to be compensated in such a way to have extras to meet their other obligations. If you are not ready to pay your employees well, they will find a business that pays them well. Research your market and settle on a good compensation package that takes care of the needs of your employees.

 

Give praise

Your employees will be motivated by sincere encouragement and recognition. When employees do something good, ensure you recognize and give them praise. When they finish a difficult project even before a deadline, recognize the act and congratulate them for their hard work. You don’t have to shower your employees with praise every time they get to a milestone, but ensure you form a habit or recognizing extra ordinary performance and giving praise.

Set a career path

No employee wants to get stuck on the same position and pay scale year in year out. If they dont see any motivation for a clear career path, they will start searching for another job in advance. Ensure you have a plan in place to enable your employees increase their skills and knowledge, and climb a corporate ladder. When you show your employees a projected career path, it will help in giving them a sense of purpose and direction.

 

Work life balance

You should allow your employees to have a flexible work schedule. Flexible working schedule means they can adjust their work time and location. They need to have a work life balance that gives them peace of mind at work, and time to care for their families. They need to pursue other things beyond work, including having a social life.

There will be employees who will always want to leave your business. If that is the case, ensure you have an exit strategy in place and plan adequately on how to bring replacements.

How to Promote Diversity at Work

The act of promoting diversity and inclusiveness at work is one of the best ways organizations can use to foster an inclusive and open-minded culture. Companies that promote workplace diversity employ individuals with different characteristics such as age, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, cultural background, political views, among others. In an inclusive and diverse workplace, differences among employees are accommodated and accepted, and all employees are treated equally.

If you are looking forward to promoting diversity in your organization, here are a couple of ways to go about it.

 

Avoid societal stereotypes

In many cases, company executives stand to blame for a lack of diversity in their organizations. They often follow certain stereotypes that prevent them from hiring smart people with skills and competence, in top management positions. One of the most common biases and stereotypes involve lack of equality when it comes to gender distribution in company positions. Some male-founded businesses are less likely to hire women regardless of their competence in executive positions because of trust level biases. The first step to fostering diversity in workplaces is to abolish these types of stereotypes.

 

Be more open when hiring

One of the best and easy ways to promote workplace diversity during the hiring process is to create a team that is involved in decision making. The team should be inclusive of human resources, executives, managers, supervisions, and other competent technical persons. This team can be very effective in helping an organization overcome widespread issues relating to discrimination. Create a culture of respect and ensure everyone is treated equally irrespective of their background. There should be a clear mode of communication and open channels where employees can discuss important and pertinent issues without being reprimanded.

 

Educate and empower employees

It is very important to educate employees on the importance of inclusivity and diversity in the workplace. You need to give examples and real-life scenarios where women and other people from minorities perform better than the favored groups. You need to show your employees how diversity in workplaces can have a positive impact on productivity and profit generation. Ensure people occupy positions based on merit and not biases.

Offer diverse opportunities

You need to offer meaningful opportunities for inclusivity and employee engagement. If you have a company with multiple locations, consider allowing employees to work in other locations, cities, and states. Use surveys to find out where your employees are more likely to spend their free time. Go ahead and arrange work-based activities and other external employee engagement activities that foster unity and cooperation.

Create mentorship programs

It important to hire a diverse workforce, but it is also important to have mentorship programs in place that ensures everyone has an equal opportunity to advance. Employees who portray high potential should be offered mentorships regardless of their race, sex, age, and other factors. As an organization, support the professional development of your employees by contributing to their education. Doing so will make them happy and more productive. Ensure leadership teams reflect the diversity and promote candidates to those positions based on their competence.