7 Ways HR Managers Can Deal With Workplace Conflicts

Deal With Workplace Conflicts

7 Ways HR Managers Can Deal With Workplace Conflicts

Learn how to deal with workplace conflicts here. Conflicts in workplaces are inevitable and for that matter, you might find yourself dealing with such matters from time to time. Workplace conflicts occur for several reasons and when left unresolved, they can adversely affect the productivity of a team. The fact that the employees have different backgrounds, beliefs, and personalities work perfectly to stir up workplace conflicts.

According to a SHRM survey, 44% of HR professionals reported intensified political volatility at work in 2020. One of the latest surveys published by Pollack confirms that employees in United States companies spend approximately 2.8 hours each week involving in a conflict. At the end of it all, it amounts to about $359 billion in paid hours that are wasted due to conflicts instead of positive productivity.

As an HR, you must explore areas where people do not align and try to create a common ground where they can co-exist. Below are some of the most effective ways HR professionals can rely to effectively manage and deal with workplace conflicts for high employee engagement.


7 Ways HR Managers Can Deal With Workplace Conflicts


#1. Identify the Root Cause

Workers in an organization may disagree on a range of things such as policies, resources, and leadership styles. On the other hand, interpersonal conflicts may arise from private matters, but the common outcome is that they damage workplace environments and overall productivity. So, when it comes to managing and dealing with workplace conflicts, you must ensure to understand the root cause.

As an HR, it’s essential to analyze your team and discover colleagues that don’t get on well in terms of communication and co-operation which might be difficult, but once you notice that a colleague can’t work with another, that could be a sign of unresolved conflicts. As per Pollack, 33% of workplace conflict is as a result of heavy workloads and this might be difficult to come to the HRs’ attention.

It’s generally because team leaders may be working independently and at times fail to equally allocate work. Either way, ensure to understand the problem and then gather all the vital information before making a conclusion.


#2. Ensure Transparent Communication

Unresolved workplace conflicts can impact negatively in an organization’s employee productivity, retention, and overall performance over a given period of time. Unfortunately, these conflicts may arise from poor communication skills that is when employees are unclear about the workplace policies, rules, or the don’ts.

A lot of times, we realize that miscommunication can become a major factor in modern organizations, that is when a manager communicates a different message and the employee receives a different message and understanding. This highly happens when you send someone to convey an important message. The lack of clarity can cost an organization millions and at times lead to the loss of good employees. So how can you ensure proper communication in your organization or team?

Hold Meetings: Use meetings to address issues or to communicate important matters. One of the best ways to hold productive meetings is by having an agenda. Also, ensure to send out a meeting request with the people you want to attend to and the time of the meeting. Don’t let your employees learn about the new procedures, workmates, or policies through colleagues. Holding meetings gives an impression that every employee matters and deserves to know what’s going on in the company. Also, set clear expectations and let everyone voice their opinions without fear.

Leverage Technology: In the modern era, HRs, managers, and team leaders have many platforms at their disposal to communicate with their employees. Through email, you can call for a meeting or use it to emphasize a point. Similarly, you can create a Whatsapp group through which you can convey any message to your team members.


#3. Promote Workplace Equality

If some employees feel isolated or considered the minority, this can cause workplace conflicts. Equality in a workplace can mean offering equal opportunities, and resources, and respecting everyone despite their sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, or opinions. The more you realize that you have a diverse workforce, the more you work to ensure equality, belongingness, and a healthy work environment. If you wish to lessen or handle conflicts professionally in your workplace, you can consider the following;

  • Hear Everyone Out: If two parties present a disagreement, it’s best that you listen to all sides and put yourself in their shoes. It’s also best that you personally look into matters before giving a final conclusion.
  • Don’t Take Sides/ Favoritism: As an HR, you must know that favoritism can break a team, and more so, it can increase absenteeism and long breaks in an organization. All of these can cost an organization highly in the long run. Creating a fair workplace is not just important for keeping conflicts at bay but also to boost employee recrutiment and retention rates.

Generally, try to create an environment where it’s normal to disagree because it’s part of humans to disagree. Teach your employees to disagree, but never to expose anger by fighting or ruining company property. There is a range of ethical issues in the modern corporate world that HRs must know to properly manage workplace conflicts. Understanding them can help you formulate formidable conflict resolution strategies.


#4. Develop Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence (EI) is one of the most crucial abilities for HR professionals and managers. The way employers and leaders communicate, differences, opinions, or sort workplace conflicts exhibits emotional intelligence. Having good emotional intelligence can help you manage workplace conflicts effectively. EI can also help a manager to become a great problem solver.

The ability to perceive, evaluate and control emotions in all aspects of life is very important. By the way, it isn’t all about you helping others control their emotions, but it is also about your ability to tame your emotions and feelings. When an HR lets emotions and anger take over, he can end up retaliating or acting unprofessionally.

With that, the element of emotional intelligence can help HR think before acting since they generally understand that emotions are temporary. Having emotional intelligence can also help HRs show empathy, social skills, and self-regulation abilities in a work environment.


#5. Take Proper Action

Although some workplace conflicts can be resolved without the intervention of a moderator or the top management, some cases may require the involvement of superiors. When an employee reaches out to you about a concern, ensure to listen well and provide the best advice possible. It’s best to meet with the concerned parties and find out what the real problem is. Then gather vital information about the conflict before making a final decision.


#6. Encourage Involved Parties to Bring Solutions Forward

If there is a problem between two people, it’s wise to bring them together and encourage them to speak their minds. In most cases, the solution lies within them.

Asking the involved parties for solutions can also help you understand each side’s expectations and this can result in the best solution. So ensure to request ideas to resolve a conflict better.


#7. Don’t Leave Conflicts Unsolved

No issue is small and normally issues that seem small are mishandled and this ends up costing the company. As an HR professional, you should know that what may seem small to you, may actually be a big issue on the employee’s side.

Ensure to create a safe environment where employees can air their problems without fear. Managing conflicts is a critical competency and leaving issues unsolved can lead to further critical issues.

To encapsulate, there are many things that can cause conflicts in workplaces. Unfortunately, these can lead to reduction in productivity, mental health concerns, and increased employee turnover among others. As an HR professional or manager, try to ensure that your workplace environment has low cases of conflicts to provide a positive work environment to all employees.


Autor Bio: Kiara Miller

Build Brand that will Kickstart Your Career


Kiara Miller is a keen enthusiast when it comes to writing and she loves to express her views, opinions, and perspectives through her insightful articles. Also, as a content marketing specialist, she loves to design effective content campaigns and has a great knowledge of the kind of content that engages readers the most.

Photo credit: twignetwork.com


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