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Dealing with employee conflicts within a business is generally one of the least appealing factors of HR management. Clashes of personality, business disputes and office politics can create a tense and uncomfortable atmosphere, resulting in a severe loss of productivity and weak office morale. But resolving disputes among staff can be a challenging process, and when approached incorrectly, it can be easy to create more harm than good.
Those business leaders who don’t tackle conflict and face disputes head on will suffer in the long-run; by letting issues fester, the workplace environment can become hostile. The best approach is to resolve any issues quickly and efficiently – before it is too late. Conflict resolution also highlights the fact that business leaders must lead by example. Putting in place effective measures to deal with disputes and demonstrating a professional attitude towards conflict resolution will create a business and working environment that is better respected.
Within conflict and dispute there will always be two, if not more, sides to the story. Try to talk to each member of staff individually and respectfully listen to their version of events. There will be some reading between the lines to do here, but each employee should feel as though they can voice their opinion in a secure environment. Meeting with multiple employees can lead to miscommunication and interruptions, and can cause the issue to escalate. At this stage it’s also important to accept and acknowledge employee differences. Everyone approaches and reacts to situations in different ways, and it’s vital that employers and business leaders consider this before tackling conflict resolution.
Don’t let conflict drag on. Office politics mean that quite often conflicts arise for extremely inconsequential reasons. Tackling these head on will prevent trivial matters from developing into huge, far more daunting problems. While approaching disputes as soon as possible is one of the best ways to resolve an issue, doing so without any evidence of facts could lead to even more complications. Gather the facts first, and never approach an employee without having anything to base your concern on.
It might sound simple, but few employers and business leaders actually remember to regularly talk to their members of staff and address any ongoing issues or concerns. Maintaining this continuous and open dialogue with employees will not only help prevent any disputes from arising, but it will also engender a positive atmosphere where any conflicts can be more easily resolved. Above all else employees will feel more comfortable coming to you with any issues, which will allow for a preventative approach in the long-term.
No one likes dealing with conflicts and disputes, but within business it comes with the territory. Be prepared for conflict resolution before it’s too late. If you would like advice on resolving conflicts and disputes, or would like to see how this aspect could be managed by P3 People Management on your behalf,get in touch with our team today.
“"We have worked with P3 for over 3 years and have found the service we have been given to be invaluable. As a growing organisation, the HR element was taking up more and more of the Board's time. HR are always present at our Board meetings and the time we have saved ourselves allowing this key business function to run smoothly, efficiently and as it should do has paid huge dividends for our growth and our staff retention. Our people and culture have not looked back since we made this decision. "”
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