When you run a business, the last thing you want to deal with is conflict in the workplace. Unfortunately, this is something that will inevitably come up one way or another.
When addressing a topic such as workplace conflict, it is important to recognize the importance of getting in touch with an experienced employment lawyer such as the lawyers at HKM. It is essential to know your and your employees’ rights in conflict resolution and the legal side of things should be taken seriously.
That being said, there are some important things to understand here.
Understanding the causes of conflict
There are countless different things that contribute to conflict in the workplace. This could range from a breakdown in communication to differences in values and perspectives.
Misunderstandings and lack of clarity can often arise when communication between parties is unclear in some way. You may also be dealing with different work styles or communication styles between the parties that can cause disruption or employee frustration with uneven workload distribution.
More serious conflicts can arise from issues such as discrimination, harassment, and unfair or unsafe work practices and conditions. Understanding the root of conflict is the key to resolving it effectively.
What is the impact of workplace conflict?
Conflict in the workplace can have far-reaching effects, which is why it needs to be managed promptly and effectively whenever it arises.
A serious conflict can cause long-term damage to your company’s reputation and organizational culture. If conflict is not handled properly you may lose employees. However, ongoing conflict with low consequences can still harm your business in other ways.
Your overall employee morale is likely to decline, and this can lead to a serious decrease in productivity and even employee retention. When conflicts are not resolved quickly and effectively, they can begin to affect employees who are not even involved.
How to Recognize the Signs of Workplace Conflict
It’s important to be able to recognize the signs of conflict in your business, as employees won’t necessarily always speak up.
You need to build rapport with your employees, so it’s important to take the time to get to know them. Additionally, knowing and understanding common workplace stressors can be very helpful. With these two factors, you should be able to identify behavioral changes and understand increased stress and tension in the environment. When your team stops collaborating well together, it’s a signal to ask this question.
When conflict is identified or reported by an employee, how you handle it is essential. Having a structured conflict resolution process is a good start, and empathy should be directly involved in this process.
Practice active listening and make sure all parties involved feel heard and understood. Provide constructive feedback and involve neutral third parties if you feel it may be necessary. Having clear policies in place is usually helpful in these situations, but you may need to seek legal assistance depending on the nature and severity of the conflict.