Predict Conflict with Employee and Team Assessments

May 2010 by Megan Bullard, Profiles International

when employee disagreements impact the whole team

In a perfect world, work would always be enjoyable, and work environments would promote productivity and engagement.

Unfortunately, this is rarely the case.

People find themselves in sticky situations or conflict with coworkers.

Some personalities and behaviors are oil and water, and they will never mix. What if there was a way to solve or even proactively stop these conflicts? Employee assessments offer quantitative insight into employee’s natural tendencies and personalities. This information can enable managers to build balanced and effective teams, or solve conflicts between existing members.

Personalities and behaviours are complex and occur for various reasons

Each individual employee brings their own past experiences, and learned behaviours with them to the job each day. These experiences and personality differences can often lead to conflict between coworkers. Disagreements are a necessary evil that is required to make progress, but too much of it can inhibit productivity. Employee assessments reveal crucial information, about each employee, that is useful for solving differences.

Conflicts are easily solved if the root of the problem can be identified.

Managers or team members may spend too much time trying to discover what the cause of an issue may be, but an employee assessment can easily predict problem areas.

The guessing game is not a professional’s favorite, and playing it to solve conflicts does not resolve the problem in a timely fashion. Conflicts that are not addressed between employees can cause lasting friction between team members, and will ultimately destroy a team’s efficiency.

Employing someone who has a personality which is not compatible with the other team members

It is difficult enough to introduce a new face into an established team, but it doesn’t have to be with the help of employee assessments. The same process is applicable when evaluating established teams. Assessing teams can lead to finding new ways to improve the work culture and the way all of the moving parts work together.

Assessments act as a refined tool that focuses on areas of behaviour that impact an individual’s work life.

A mechanic would not work on a car without proper tools, and managers should not try to resolve conflict or hire an employee unprepared. Employee assessments can introduce a wealth of information that will educate professionals in a way that enables them to develop personally. If knowledge is power, then assessments are powerful, and can only bring positive change through understanding. Consider using employee assessments during times of conflict, for hiring, and as a tool for constructing an effective and productive team.

Profiles Performance IndicatorTM : an example of its use

You have assembled an expert team of workers who fit their jobs well and are aligned with organisational goals. They are high performers, and you could not be more pleased with each of them individually.

Yet something important is off. Jason almost never appears satisfied with answers to his questions, feedback from his team leader-with anything, really. He is impatient and often grumbling, and his dissatisfaction is rubbing off on others. Yet he is extremely skilled at his job.

Jason’s manager, Julie, consistently ensures her team is performing superbly by meeting deadlines and communicating well with internal and external clients. But there is friction between these two key players, and you have big plans for the team: a project that they will spend most of the year developing before presenting to external clients. You have a nagging feeling about their chronic inability to get along because you have seen small irritations between two people fester and grow until culminating in a huge blowup that threatens the entire team.

So right now, before you involve Julie’s team in the new project, step back and assess. Literally. Take a few minutes to examine the source of the friction and figure out how to dissolve it before it dissolves this high-performing team. Profiles Performance IndicatorTM and its Team Analysis Report are the prescribed methods of finding the underlying cause of conflict on your team and improving communication. Its reports may help you form a new team, or figure out how to enhance Julie’s leadership skills so that the friction disappears.

Organisations appreciate PPI’s aid in motivating and coaching employees and resolving performance issues. It measures a worker’s motivational intensity and actions related to:

  • Productivity
  • Quality of work
  • Initiative
  • Teamwork
  • Problem solving
  • Adapting to change
  • Response to conflict, stress and frustration

The Team Analysis Report will help leaders:

  • Form new teams
  • Reduce team conflict
  • Improve team communication
  • Improve their ability to anticipate problems
  • Enhance team leadership skills

PPI takes about 15 minutes to complete, and Julie will know the results immediately. So will you-before handing that new project to the team.

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