Great Leaders Know How to Navigate Conflict

How CPG Leaders Overcome Conflict in the Workplace

Like any industry, the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry finds itself responding to many new challenges. Consumers now prioritize convenience and cost-effectiveness above former industry pillars like brand loyalty and premium labels.

Changes in consumer behavior can leave organizations scrambling in response as they try to fill pivoting needs. Not surprisingly, meeting new challenges can also lead to internal strife or conflict in the workplace.

If you’re a manager, focusing on communication can minimize workplace conflict.

Workplace Conflict and Employee Productivity

The surest way to slow down workforce productivity is to allow employee conflict to fester.

Companies in the U.S. lose almost $360 billion annually because of the squabbling, frustrations, and dissatisfaction within teams, and the CPG industry is no different.

Ignoring the conflict leads to rising tensions and long-term stress. Eventually, workplaces become toxic environments that current employees want to escape and candidates don’t find attractive.

Managers can’t solve everyone’s problems for them, but these leaders can help to overcome workplace conflict with one skill: communication.

Minimize Workplace Conflict with Proven Strategies

Dealing with conflict can be uncomfortable for managers who must manage it. Many leaders either ignore or avoid conflict, hoping disagreements will disappear. Unfortunately, the conflict doesn’t evaporate; it grows — unless addressed.

Still, it is possible to improve communication among your teams.

Sit down regularly with your team to discuss what is going on — especially if something disruptive happens. Often, the challenge is due to a misunderstanding that can be resolved immediately. Ask for employee input for a resolution, keeping in mind these four strategies:

Put your attention on the process, not the people. Your team comes from diverse backgrounds and has multiple ways of dealing with challenges. Together, they can improve the process — but not if they resort to playing the blame game.

Set a goal. Having a well-defined and measurable goal keeps the team focused on work.

Encourage regular communication in multiple directions. Employees must feel comfortable asking questions horizontally and vertically in their departments.

Remind the team that conflict isn’t always bad; it’s an opportunity. This opportunity can lead to product and process improvement and strengthen the team.

Your team won’t always agree about everything. Someone will have a bad day, or they may experience frustration with a part of the process.

Your ability to help them communicate and resolve issues will lead employees to overcome the day-to-day challenges in the CPG industry and excel.