There are inevitably going to be some disagreements in any working environment. The very nature of a work environment involves bringing together people of different background and cultures. There’s the expectation that they will be able to work together to fulfil a common goal of helping the business. However, this isn’t always the case. In the instance that there is still conflict despite training, then follow these steps:
1. Understanding The Conflict
Whether it was a fallout in the breakout space at lunch or a shouting match in front of everyone in the office at their desks, the first step of resolving the disagreement is to understand the facts. Ask questions to gain more information, such as where and when it happened, and who else was involved. It may be that it’s a string of instances that have created an ongoing problem for some time, or perhaps it was a one-off heated argument. If you’ve caught the disagreement in the early stages, it’s time to nip it in the bud. See all relevant parties one after the other to get their account of what happened.
2. Using A Mediator Where Necessary
Sometimes, a conflict can not be resolved quickly or discreetly. In these cases, it might be wise to use a mediator. They are trained to calm the situation and encourage people to listen to one another. The discussion should be straight to the point, avoiding either party getting overly frustrated or aggressive.
3. Resolving The Matter
Each person has the right to disclose to the other about what changes they’d like to see in the other parties behaviour to resolve their differences. They should present their suggestions in a calm and professional manner across the conference table. If you believe both sides of the argument to be reasonable, then you should ask both parties to implement these changes. You can set a review date in the future to determine whether each other’s wishes have been met.
Disciplinaries may be required if there has been any wrong doing by the employee. This should be done in accordance with your employee handbook guidelines. You must uphold the actions presented by the company when it comes to disciplinaries, following the recommended steps. In some cases, this could include further mediation, suspension or even firing.
If the conflict is of a more serious nature, then you may have to escalate the matter externally. Should this happen, evidence from all sides of the conflict can be submitted to an arbitrator in the presence of dispute resolution lawyers. They will then consider the evidence and draw up a legally binding agreement that both parties must sign the presence of the lawyers.
Preventing Conflict In The First Place
Before we tackle ways to resolve conflict in the workplace, we should look into ways in which is can be prevented entirely.
With the right training and guidance, arguments and disagreements amongst employees should seldom happen.
You can provide staff with training that will not only allow them to fulfil the requirements of their role, but also to train them in equality and diversity. This should help them to work amicably with others moving forward.
Thank you for reading!
Guest post by: Jamie Costello, Creative Writer