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  • Dealing with Employee Conflict – HR Consultant London, Consultancy Human Resources in Hertfordshire, and the UK and London – HR
  • Causes of conflict

    Some of the issues that can cause conflict between individuals and groups at work include:

    Poor management
    Unfair treatment
    Unclear job roles
    Inadequate training
    Poor communications
    Poor work environment
    Lack of equal opportunities
    Bullying and harassment
    Managing conflict

    Managing conflict between individuals often involves:

    Having a quiet word
    Investigating the problem informally
    Using internal procedures – for example, company procedures for dealing with grievances
    Upgrading line management skills – particularly around handling difficult conversations
    Using a skilled mediator
    Managing conflict between groups often involves:

    Improving the way you communicate and consult with employees
    Forming representative structures within your organisation to tackle problems – for example, working groups or staff councils
    Using problem-solving cycles to find joint solutions to workplace problems
    Getting outside help
    Questions and answers

    What is the first step to managing conflict?

    In many disputes the informal stage is the first stage as many conflicts can be sorted by simply talking and listening to employees. Giving people the time and space to express their feelings and concerns can often help to clear the air.

    When should help from outside the organisation be sought?

    Outside help is probably of most benefit between the informal and the formal stages of conflict but there are no hard and fast rules and it partly depends on the kind of help you want. Mediation is the most common form of dispute resolution. It involves an independent, impartial person helping two individuals or groups reach a solution that is acceptable to everyone.

    What are the typical responses to conflict?

    Fight -you react in a challenging way. At work this may mean shouting or losing your temper.

    Flight – you turn your back on what’s going on. This is a common reaction – by ignoring a problem you hope it will go away.

    Freeze – you are not sure how to react and become very passive. You might begin to deal with the issue but things drift or become drawn out through indecision.

    Face – Approach a problem in a calm and rational way with a planned approach.