Conflict is inevitable in the working world. People are going to disagree about different business tactics; others will become overwhelmed by their workload and begin snapping at those around them. Regardless of conflict being inevitable, it still needs to be dealt with. Otherwise, your workplace could become a toxic environment that makes the employees unhappy, thereby decreasing their productivity and increasing the rate at which you lose valuable members of staff.
However, conflict is notoriously difficult to navigate. Most people would rather bury their heads in the sand than face the problem.
Obviously, this isn’t an effective solution. Therefore, to help any readers with this predicament, we have collected 3 different tips for navigating conflict in the workplace. Keep reading to find out what they are.
1. Being Proactive
As we mentioned before, people sometimes bury their head in the sand when it comes to conflict. However, this can be more detrimental to workplace relationships than the conflict itself. Instead of ignoring the problem and hoping it will go away, managers need to be proactive.
If they hear one employee belittling another, they need to immediately intervene. This will establish to everyone that your workplace is safe and doesn’t tolerate bullying behaviour in any capacity. As such, conflict is much less likely to arise.
Furthermore, if an employee reports that they have been harassed or bullied, you should never sit on this information. Instead, you need to instantly take action. Start by finding out more information before disciplining the offending party.
2. Employment Solicitors
Sometimes, conflict can arise between the employee and the employer. Disputes are often related to pay, working hours, holiday leave, pensions and wrongful dismissal. Conflict over these matters can sometimes escalate, resulting in one party taking legal action against the other. Obviously, this is hugely detrimental to the work environment – costing the business extortionate amounts of time and money.
Before the conflict escalates into a serious legal matter, we recommend consulting with experienced employment solicitors. They have expert knowledge of employment law and will prove invaluable if you are struggling to navigate conflict effectively.
3. Active Listening
Most conflicts are caused by a breakdown in communication. Employees might not feel appreciated, valued or listened to. This could lead them to become resentful which eventually causes a conflict. As such, to effectively navigate a disagreement, sometimes all people need to do is listen.
If the argument is occurring between workers, then you should step in and become the mediator of the situation. Ensure that each person is actually listening to the other and not talking over the top of them.
If the argument is between you and your employee, you also need to remind yourself to actively listen. Validate their concerns and emotions, lending them all the time they need to speak. It is surprising how quickly a conflict can be resolved simply by listening to one another whilst remaining measured and respectful.
Follow these 3 pieces of advice and you should be able to effectively navigate conflict in the workplace.
Interesting related article: “What is a Lawyer?“