collaborative post // Statistics indicate that approximately 10 million UK employees experience conflicts at work. Indeed, workplace conflicts are inevitable, as people from various works of life come together to contribute to your business’s success.
However, if left unresolved, it can lead to project failure, absenteeism, reduced productivity, work disruptions, high turnover rates, etc. Moreover, unresolved conflicts can quickly create a toxic work environment that emotionally stresses your employees.
Fortunately, you can handle these situations with the right strategies. Here are a few you can consider for the best results.
Set up preventive measures
Sometimes, the best way to handle conflicts is to prevent them from occurring in the first place. And you can do this by clearly defining the roles and responsibilities of different teams. This way, each worker understands what is required of them.
Consequently, encourage your workers to work together frequently. As a tip, foster effective communication among team members, building trust and rapport. You also want to design your workspace to foster teamwork, so keep this in mind.
You’ll also find it helpful to encourage humour in your workplace. For instance, you can begin your meetings with a funny story to lighten the atmosphere. This way, workers can be more relaxed and open to working with their colleagues.
You also want to train your staff on conflict issues, including sexual harassment, discrimination, and so on.
Identify the root causes of conflict
While you may try hard to avoid workplace conflict, it can sometimes be inevitable. Therefore, the next step is identifying the root causes of disputes or disagreements.
Admittedly, several issues can cause your workers to become disgruntled, so feel free to consider this. For instance, different personality traits can sometimes clash, leading to fights or misunderstandings.
For instance, introverted workers can be constantly disrupted by their extroverted, outspoken colleagues. Other causes include poor communication, stressful work environment, bullying, increased workload, unrealistic expectations, etc. After finding the root causes, you can proceed to the next step.
Encourage disputing parties to dialogue
Encouraging healthy dialogue between disputing parties is essential to effective conflict resolution. Through communication, disgruntled employees can effectively share their grievances.
As a facilitator, you must ensure disputing parties refrain from using derogatory words or playing the blame game. Instead, encourage them to use relevant words to express their thoughts.
You also want to avoid talking to each party at different times; speak to everyone simultaneously to get the full picture of the issue. While at it, listen attentively to and be fair with both parties. This way, you can arrive at a solution that will satisfy everyone.
Involve HR in the process
While handling conflicts alone is fine, some issues may require expert help. For instance, you would need support if an employee wants to leave your company due to conflict or personal attacks are involved. Therefore, working with your HR manager is beneficial since they are trained to resolve these issues. You can also seek HR employment advice for solving conflicts from external experts if you don’t have an in-house HR team.