As business leaders, we set annual goals with great intentions of achieving them. We plan, strategize, and put in countless hours of hard work, only to find ourselves falling short of our targets. This can be a frustrating and disappointing experience.
As an organization, setting annual targets is crucial for its success. However, achieving these targets can become a challenging task if there are unresolved conflicts within the company. The conflicts can arise between employees or between the management and the staff. The conflicts may cause delays in processes, hinder communication, and create inefficiencies, leading to the failure to reach the annual targets. In this article, we will discuss how to identify and resolve conflicts to achieve the set annual targets.
Why can’t I reach my annual target?
Setting annual targets is a vital part of any business strategy, but achieving them can be a daunting challenge. Despite careful planning, hard work, and dedication, many businesses still struggle to reach their annual targets. One of the main reasons for this is the presence of unresolved conflicts within the organization. Whether between employees or management, conflicts can cause communication breakdowns, inefficiencies, and delays in processes, all of which can hinder progress towards achieving annual targets. In this article, we will explore effective strategies for identifying and resolving conflicts to ensure the successful attainment of annual targets.
- Marketing or product management sends out campaigns to customers and/or prospects about new products, their features, benefits and prices. However, the service only finds out about it when the customers actively ask for it.
- One of the most important trainers in your academy does not implement the specifications as desired by the management: the courses to be offered cannot yet be offered because important contents are missing or the contents sometimes drastically exceed the specified scope.
- The sales department complains that the updates of the product or service descriptions are still not ready and the marketing or product management complains that the sales department does not spend any time on coordinating the contents, especially with regard to customer wishes. The list can be continued endlessly. We ask ourselves what the reason is. We tell ourselves that all the people involved really have to do is talk to each other. But it just doesn’t happen. What is often present here is either an underlying conflict between the parties involved or at least their lack of ability or will to communicate effectively with each other.
A Proactive Approach: Identifying and Resolving Conflicts Among Employees.
Identifying and resolving conflicts among employees is a crucial step towards achieving annual targets. As a supervisor, it’s important to be proactive in identifying any open or subliminal conflicts between employees that may be hindering progress. This can involve sending emails or having conversations with the parties involved to encourage them to sit down together and work towards a solution.
However, it’s common for employees to offer excuses and explanations for why things are not working, such as a failure to coordinate effectively or unclear responsibilities. It’s important to emphasize the need to look ahead and work together towards a solution. Demanding a more drastic action may also be necessary, but it’s important to avoid half-baked results that may only delay progress.
If conflicts persist, the consequences can be severe, such as dissatisfied customers, lost business, and additional burdens on the service department. By identifying and resolving conflicts among employees, businesses can avoid these negative outcomes and successfully achieve their annual targets.
Developing a Shared Understanding to Improve Cooperation
In order to improve cooperation, those involved must agree. To do this, it is important that they develop a common view on the same thing. For example: how exactly should the process of announcing new main awards or performance features work in the future? This is where subliminal conflicts or differences often come into play. And that is exactly the point: these must first be resolved.
If, for example, the academy trainer feels that he is not taken seriously, if his suggestions are not taken on board or at least not commented on, his perception is that he is being excluded. As a result, the motivation to actively participate in a joint development of the course programme suffers. The head of the academy is disappointed by this and conflict is inevitable.
The word “perception” is crucial here: guide your staff and leaders to ask each other what the other would have expected at this point and how we perceived the situation that actually arose.
Because one side is admittedly the facts, i.e. what actually happened. The other side is the interpretation on the part of those involved, where strong emotions often come into play: it is about how the other person perceived the situation. If he feels excluded, for example, he will not get involved in the team. If he feels unfairly treated, he may want to “pay home” to the other person by not participating and thus the results will be worse.
Jens Moeller’s 14 Tips for Effective Conflict Resolution in the Workplace
Conflict in the workplace can cause tension and hinder productivity. Therefore, it is essential to address these issues and resolve them as soon as possible. Here are Jens Moeller’s 14 Tips for Effective Conflict Resolution in the Workplace.
- Make sure in advance that no one else finds out about the conversation, even implicitly: for example, if all colleagues find a meeting with a cryptic or even obvious topic in the calendars of those involved, this is not helpful.
- Establish rules for all participants: Difficulties should be addressed openly. Everything should be “put on the table”.
- Emphasize that the contents of the conversation will be kept confidential by everyone, including you.
- Make your expectations clear: you expect an agreement with a timeline as a result of the conversation.
- Assure that nothing that is said will have negative consequences. This will build trust.
- During the discussion, put the points of view of each participant on paper, for example on a flip chart, for all to see.
- Make sure that everyone can present their point of view first without already getting involved in a discussion.
- For each point of view, question how the situation presented was perceived: this will lead you from the facts to the interpretation of the participant. Then, for example, drop terms that strongly emotionalise: for example, terms like unfair, aggressive, too slow, unfair, disrespectful etc.
- Also present the framework that cannot be changed by any of the participants, not even by them: for example, are there certain processes that have to be followed? Certain timelines? Are there guidelines that must be followed? Distinguish here the things that each individual can influence themselves; those that they can influence with others and those things that they cannot influence at all.
- Ask all participants to write down the common goals and number them (e.g. Z1, Z2, Z3 and so forth). Now start a discussion with the question of which solutions we can use to achieve our common goals.
- Go through one goal after the other from top to bottom. Number the solutions as well. Here, for example, solutions can arise such as: “clarify which decisions are discussed in the group and which are discussed with the employees concerned” or: “agree on a common sign for critical situations” or: “always address disagreements directly and clarify them immediately”.
- Now list actions together to implement the solutions: who will do what by when to implement each solution?
- Agree on a timeline with all stakeholders to track the joint plan. Get feedback from all stakeholders and document this as well. What was very effective? What would you like to do differently or better next time?
- Close the round with a positive summary: what was the starting point? How did you go about it? What did you achieve? Now add the outlook and their expectations: what’s next? What do you expect in the future?
In conclusion, businesses that take a proactive approach to identifying and resolving conflicts can avoid negative outcomes such as dissatisfied customers and lost business, and successfully achieve their annual targets. If you’re a business leader facing these challenges, consider implementing Jens Moeller’s 14 tips for effective conflict resolution in the workplace. By doing so, you can improve cooperation and communication within your organization and ultimately reach your annual targets.
If you are looking for a consultant to help you with organizational and personal performance, consider contacting Jens Moeller at JMC Consulting. With his extensive experience and expertise, he can provide you with valuable insights and practical solutions to improve your business performance.
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