From time to time all workplaces find themselves having to deal with conflict or disagreements in the workplace. This can occur at all levels within the business and can stem from a number of issues that can include:
- Interpersonal clashes
- Poor communication
- Unfair or unclear expectations
- Lack of common performance standards.
Conflict can start as what may seem a fairly simple issue and yet if not addressed in a timely manner can quickly escalate and become a matter that may need significant resources and cost to resolve.
Strategies that may assist businesses to minimise conflict in the workplace:
- Communication must be inclusive, clear and concise
- Expectations of roles and responsibilities must be clear
- Employees must have an avenue to raise issues in a confidential and safe environment
- The workplace environment should be one that encourages participation, this can include regular team meetings that allows for employees to provide suggestions and feedback
- All employees should be treated fairly without preferential treatment
- Do not ignore workplace issues thinking that they will go away.
So, what happens if a conflict occurs?
Steps to assist with dealing with conflict:
- Identify what the conflict is
- Ensure any discussions are held in a safe and confidential manner
- Listen carefully and openly
- If applicable/appropriate encourage that the matter be raised with the person involved
- Develop a plan to deal with the conflict
- Work through the plan and monitor to ensure implementation and effectiveness
- Ensure that the party/parties involved receive feedback as to a resolution and set expectations for moving forward
- Engage outside assistance if required.
If you have any questions or require assistance, please contact the team at Workplace Resolutions on 03 5499 6131