No matter how congenial employees are, conflicts in the work environment are inevitable. Whether employees grow envious over one another's success or develop tensions with their superiors, resolving these issues in an expeditious and articulate fashion is imperative. Failure to do so can protract the issues and lead to increased hostility. Developing a conflict resolution plan before troubles arise is wise.
1. Consider all levels
Conflict Tango notes that 85% of employees endure a conflict-based situation in the work environment. Therefore, you should take into account that issues could happen at all levels. Do not, for example, assume that the upper management is inviolable to disagreements or that your new employees won't feel stressed. Also, remember that different groups of employees have different needs. Not only should you take all of them into account, but you should request feedback. Knowing which issues affect your employees the most can help you to develop a more proactive plan.
2. Predict the conflicts
While you cannot prognosticate every possible scenario that may arise in the workplace, you can use the data you obtain from employees to assemble a formidable list. While working with your team during this business process, brainstorm as comprehensive of a collection as you can, but also work to prioritize the issues. Assigning numbers to each issue based on the level of severity allows you to create plans for more serious issues first. You can then use the techniques for these more arduous problems to address the lower level concerns if they should arise.
3. Integrate respect into your plan
Proactive Resolutions promulgates that 32% of employees in a survey felt that disrespect had played a significant role in recent work environment scenarios. When you do not treat your employees with a level of respect, you can almost guarantee that the conflicts are going to grow worse. Your company should adopt a policy of common-sense based impartiality. When a problem is presented, you want to make sure that you hear both sides. However, you also need to know when issues are serious enough to warrant immediate action. If you have decided to survey employees about where they think the major issues lie, then you have already taken an important step to show them that you are placing respect at the center of the workplace.
4. Create clear and specific steps toward resolution
During the brainstorming process, you should expect that your team is going to have different styles and approaches to managing conflicts. Going into the meetings with an open mind helps you to prevent major conflicts from happening in the meetings themselves. If they do, evaluate the strategies that you used. For each problem that you predict, you should define a clear resolution.
Make lucid whether employees have to first report the problem to human resources or if they should check their pay stubs to see if they are missing information. Once you have developed the specific steps that employees need to take if a conflict arises, create a handbook for distribution in the company. Scheduling a training session on conflict resolution for your employees is wise, and the handbook allows them to have a refresher.
5. Gauge how the systems work
After you have developed these plans, you have only one way to see if they actually work in real world scenarios. When a conflict arises, make sure you are paying attention to solving it; however, also take the time to evaluate whether the plan actually worked. In the event that it does not, you have to sit down with your team to figure out what went wrong and how you can better resolve the issue next time. Also, you can take a look at successful plans to see how you can make them even better.
By carefully considering these five steps, you will be better able to identify potential conflicts and create an actionable strategy to prevent future disputes. When you take the time to determine possible problems that may arise at your company, you can also figure out the best solutions for addressing them efficiently.