A role in human resources can often be a challenging job as, when having to protect the rights of both employer and employee, it’s important to be able to treat people with sensitivity. In many instances in this role, being able to manage conflict is a skill that is very desirable.
Here’s some tips on how you can apply certain techniques when managing a conflict.
When an employee approaches you with an issue, it is important to listen carefully to what their problem is. They need to know that they are being taken seriously and made to feel at ease. Understanding what has caused their upset will help you develop an appropriate response to the situation and enable you to take sensible actions to resolve the problem.
Start a dialogue
If someone has made a complaint about another employee or employer, sometimes they can be reluctant to sit down and talk it through with that individual. Generally, it is beneficial if they can be persuaded to have a civilised conversation with whoever they have a grievance against, in a safe space that they are comfortable in. Open and honest communication is key.
Don’t choose sides
It is natural for us as humans to form bonds with others, but these feelings must not come into play when trying to resolve a conflict in the workplace. You must remain neutral in these cases and listen to both sides of the argument in order to fix the problem at hand. If you don’t think you’re capable of this, then you must pass the issue onto another member of your team to deal with.
Understand the available options
In some cases, an employee might want to take matters to a tribunal. Hopefully things won’t escalate to this point, but it is a possibility if matters can’t be resolved in the workplace. However, tribunals can be a stressful process for everyone involved, so it may be worth seeking legal advice on settlement agreements as an alternative to going down the tribunal road.
It is important to understand what options are available to everyone in these cases to make sure matters are resolved in the most desirable manner.
Create a plan of action
Once you have listened to all parties involved in the conflict, you should work closely with them to create a plan of action that will make sure these issues won’t arise again.
Does someone need to be more sensitive of the language they use in the office? Is there any additional training someone is in need of to achieve their goals that previously they have felt confident enough to ask for? Does a parent need their employer to recognise more closely their childcare needs?
Getting the parties to work together on a plan they are both comfortable with will help to move things forward and avoid any future conflict going forward.
There are many more things to consider when dealing with issues in the workplace, however using these few simple tips as a starting point will help to start fixing the problems in a healthy and reasonable way.