Managing workplace conflict could be a challenge especially when there’s a possibility that these could escalate into a harassment issue. Managers have a key role in fostering a culture of respect in the workplace and this starts by creating good relationships, encouraging good communications, and promoting an environment of trust, care and mutual respect.
Why is there workplace conflict?
Where there are groups of people, there are also groups of varying ideas so expect some disagreements to arise. The range of activities and personality types add to the mix and conflict becomes inevitable. When asked what they thought the main causes of conflict are, employees revealed that personality, leadership, communication and the work environment top the list.
How to manage conflicts?
If conflict becomes imminent in the workplace, measures must be taken to immediately resolve it. Here are basic tips on how to manage conflicts among workers:
Managers play a key role in cultivating a respectful working environment where conflicts is unlikely to occur. It is their responsibility to immediately address workplace issues as soon as they are brought to attention. This way escalation is prevented.
Speak to employees about the company’s organizational and human values and how conflicts could seriously affect the achievement of common goals. Emphasize the importance of meaningful conversations, collaborative problem-solving, mutual respect and encourage employees to attend training/ awareness sessions related to these. Employees must also made to understand of the company’s zero-tolerance to harassment in any form and that escalating conflicts should be brought to the attention of management.
Respect is not given but earned and setting a good example to employees will surely cultivate a culture of integrity, respect, fairness and boost the morale within the organization. Be sensitive to individual needs; operations may be important but not at the risk of losing the well-being of the employees. Always remember to communicate openly and respectfully.
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