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3 conflict resolution techniques to implement in the workplace

Are you curious about the most effective strategies to resolve workplace conflict? Get to the bottom of conflicts between employees using some HR best practices. Help keep your employees focused on the customers instead of a difference of opinion.

6 reasons behind workplace conflict

One of the keys to resolving conflict between employees is understanding what is driving the conflict to begin with. In many cases, these disputes stem from:

1. Employees who don’t pull their weight on a shift

I’m sure we have all been a part of or at least heard of, the smart kid doing all the work on a group project in school while everyone else breezes through on their effort. This is kind of the same attitude but in a workplace environment. And when most of the work is being done by someone who makes the same or a similar amount to those doing less work, there can be trouble on the horizon.

2. Managers whose leadership style is too overbearing

Micromanagement is another cliche that everybody has heard of or experienced. Most of the time, the one doing the micromanaging is unaware of how their actions are bothering others. The word does contain “management,” after all. However, trust and training is an important aspect of being a manager, as is delegation, which needs to take priority over constantly micromanaging employees on tasks they are trained and capable of performing.

3. Workplace harassment

Harassment not only has a strong social and cultural abrasiveness to it but there could also be legal repercussions. Creating a safe, welcoming, and trusting workplace should be a top priority for every manager and business owner.

4. Employees who make assumptions about the intentions of other co-workers

Communication is another one of those catch-all kinds of terms used when conflicts arise. However, getting in front of communication issues is far more important than using it as a scapegoat after the fact.

5. Resentment due to feeling left out

Not everyone has the same feelings towards each other in the workplace. It is common for friendships and relationships to form in the workplace. Some people can get left behind for various reasons. Using team-building exercises and team meetings to make sure everyone knows each other and shares common ground can help reduce this potential conflict area.

6. Supervisors who ignore dissent

This comes down to proper leadership. Ignoring the problem certainly will not make it go away. Although it is important to avoid micromanaging, as stated above, it is far more important to step in while potential conflict is brewing.

3 Conflict resolution techniques

For small business owners like yourself, being familiar with these HR best practices will help you and your management team resolve workplace conflict.

  1. Encourage communication – Open communication de-escalate issues and empowers employees to work out problems on their own. The University of California Berkeley encourages managers to create an environment where employees can openly share their opinions. When your employees feel heard, they are more likely to share their opinions in a civil manner.
  2.  Avoid taking sides – According to Forbes, it’s common for managers to pick sides in an employee dispute. Your role should be only to find a compromise and help your employees maintain a working relationship.
  3. Learn dispute resolution techniquesThe American Management Association offers five steps to managing conflict, teaching supervisors to mediators.

Dangers of ignoring workplace conflicts

The University of Florida’s Executive Education program teaches owners and other business leaders to step in as soon as possible to find a solution.  Once issues between two employees begin to escalate, employee morale and your bottom line are at risk. The best time to step in is as soon as possible.

When conflict resolution is handled properly, it can help maintain relationships, save time and money, and improve productivity.  If you need help with this or other HR and compliance topics, Homebase can help. Sign up for free today! 

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