Blame it on personality, lifestyle or other factors, but sometimes employees just don’t mesh. The tension can make the workplace uncomfortable for other employees and have a dramatic effect on productivity. Such is the case when coworkers rub each other the wrong way in a Fantasy Football trade.
Week’s five through ten proved to be interesting as accusations of collusion and cheating were whispered throughout the Levy League. Claims of lopsided trades and unfair dealings were the highlight of our commissioner’s morning when a disgruntled league member approached her.
One might easily assume that any negative outbreak might destroy the purposes of having a fantasy league. Business owners and managers are typically comfortable allowing their employees to engage in competitive games outside of the workplace. Fantasy football is just a game after all. What happens when that game becomes disruptive to the workplace? Should the entire league be punished for their involvement, or just the offending parties? Are there lessons to be learned from these events?
Levy Recognition was tested to answer all of these questions over the last few weeks of game play. More often than not, people choose to view conflict as a negative that is meant to cause destruction. But the Levy League chose to view the minor conflict between two employees as an opportunity to improve. Here are some ways our supervisors (and fantasy league commissioners) defuse employee conflict:
- Encourage employees to work it out together. You are their manager, not their mother. Encourage employees to manage their issues on their own.
- Nip escalating situations in the bud, quickly. If employees are unable to work out the issues on their own, you’ll be forced to step in. Get to the root of the problem and stop the landslide by mediating.
- Listen to both sides of the conflict. Once all employees have had the opportunity to express their concerns, ask each of them to offer ideas on how the situation could be resolved and how all parties could move forward.
- Consult the rulebook. Deciphering right from wrong may mean reviewing your company’s policy. Employee handbooks are designed to lay down consistent rules that each employee is expected to uphold at all times. In order to offer a fair resolution, you’ll need to make sure your decision is aligned with company policy.
- Lead by example. A culture of respectful communication is a “top down” proposition. Business owners, directors, managers and other supervisors set the tone for interaction in the workplace.
Tension can sometimes lead to healthy competition, process improvements, innovation or creativity. Fantasy football is an engagement activity meant for employees to have fun. Conflict that arises from such activities should be addressed by supervisors the same as any other workplace argument.
Levy League Standings after Weeks Five through Ten
Flaccoroni and Cheese
Dude, You’re Getting O-Dell!
Big Bad Birdy’s Bruzers
This is part of our Fantasy Football Engagement Series. Our other updates in this series include:
# 1 Yes, Fantasy Football is Good for Your Workplace
#2 Levy League Update: Draft Day
#3 Levy League Update: Improved Communication (Weeks 1-4)
#4 Levy League Update: Resolving Conflicts (Weeks 5-10)
#5 Levy League Update: Employee Relationships (Weeks 11-Championship)