Helpful advice on how to Sort conflict out between staff
Unfortunately, in the early years, a common complaint is of practitioners being hurtful to one another and not getting along. Many believe this is down to many settings being single sex or majority sex teams; this is thought to be the same in any environment with a similar sex team. This can put an enormous strain on morale, practice and management. For a manager, it can be difficult to listen to continuous moaning complaints of he said/ she said type scenarios and these situations could often be hard to manage effectively.
These types of situations can be brought to your attention in a variety of ways by other people communicating concerns or the perpetrators or victims of the constant complaints themselves directly seeking guidance from the manager. There are a few ways these can be dealt with. It is important for staff morale, best practice and the well-being of everyone in the building including the manager, staff and children that these are dealt with promptly, and staff are put in environments where they can all just get along.
How to deal with a difficult team
1. Make team changes – Many early years settings often contain several rooms with several different teams working within these. Could you swap any staff around to ensure everyone is happy? Sometimes making the slightest change to a team can make the biggest difference. Be sensitive when making these changes as sometimes it can have a negative effect and instead of resolving issues can cause further upset. You may choose to ask practitioners how they feel about moving and a new challenge of working with a different age range before making any sudden decisions.
2. Is there a reason – Is there a valid reason why there is moaning and sniping amongst staff. Can practice in the room or across the setting be improved? Does any training need to take place? Have all practitioners been inducted into the setting correctly?
3. Take it seriously – As discussed above lots of ill feeling towards one another can cause huge problems for the setting as a whole. If a practitioner wishes to make a formal complaint or write to the manager detailing any issues ensure they are dealt with following grievance procedures and in a formal and serious manner. Dealing with the matter informally can lead to a whole host of problems.
4. Tackle the matter quickly – Having a one to one conversation with the practitioners involved promptly is the best course of action to take. If regular six weekly supervisions take place, you may choose this to highlight any problems and discuss the situation however if this is not the case you may choose to talk to practitioners sooner than this. Sometimes just talking about a problem can be enough to resolve the situation if not action plans can be created to find the best solution for all.
5. Team building – Team building is a great way to push people out of their comfort zones and open up communication. There’s a variety of ways team building can take place, and it can be incredibly effective to help practitioners communicate effectively and resolve any issues