If you’re noticing conflict keeps arising on your team or that it’s slow to resolve when it does erupt, you might want to consider looking at the policies and procedures in place around conflict. Many leaders may look directly to the people involved with conflict to identify trigger points. It’s true that certain personalities may chronically clash or that some employees instigate conflict, but that’s not always the case and assuming otherwise can be doing a disservice to your organization. Consider identifying conflict resolution procedures that allow for the growth of workplace trust, morale, and communication rather than hoping conflict disappears.
Conflict Resolution Procedures Workplace Environments Can Benefit From
While individuals can be responsible for conflict, the systems in place supporting individuals can contribute as well. This includes policies and procedures before conflict even arises at all. Does your staff have the resources they need to meet deadlines, complete projects, and communicate challenges? Is compensation inclusive of mental wellness and services that improve quality of life? Is counseling available for those having a hard time? Is stress management acknowledged and addressed, not just by the individual but by the organization recognizing employees don’t have infinite resources or bandwidth? These are important structural components that can reduce instances of conflict if implemented appropriately. If the early stages of conflict do arise, here are some system procedures to support resolution strategies:
Clear Discrimination Procedures
Whether you’re facing conflict with your manager or with another employee, oftentimes it can begin small and erupt quickly. Harassment and discrimination have no place in the workplace for anyone. But it doesn’t matter if your company has a clear stance on that, if you don’t have a clear policy addressing discrimination and harassment reports, you may be contributing to harm. This policy should include the name and role of who to report to and what to expect from that report, including documentation and follow-ups. It should include information on confidentiality in this report and address the company’s retaliation policy, to name a few. This is one of the most common conflict resolution procedures workplace leaders overlook that often leads to costly repair.
Open Feedback Procedures
Leadership should take an interest in the feedback of their employees, which includes taking action on what information is provided. If employees are telling you the environment is ripe for conflict, the responsibility falls on leadership to address it. Allowing formal feedback policies that are consistent, transparent, and open can help reduce conflict issues.
Decide early what the general rule is for resolving conflict resolution in HR or with other in-house groups with conflict resolution or de-escalation training. Not everything will need to reach that level of escalation, of course, but identifying early what issues may need that kind of intervention may help reduce legal and financial problems in the long-run. Typically when teams have an understanding of emergency processes, they have less anxiety about the emergency which, in this case, is conflict. Less anxiety about the conflict can reduce the intensity of the conflict so identify your escalation procedures early and re-assess them often.
No one strives when dealing with conflict between employees. If conflict has been an issue on your team, you may need some support identifying structural changes that can improve conflict culture. Get support from the professionals to help establish conflict resolution procedures workplace morale can benefit from. Contact Pollack Peacebuilding Systems today to get the right solutions for your team.