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5 steps to resolve conflicts in the workplace

Problems are natural in all workplaces. That's why today we give you 5 tips to resolve conflicts in the workplace.

No matter how well a team gets along and how efficient it is at getting things done, tensions and disagreements can sometimes be unavoidable. 

When these issues go unresolved or untreated for long periods of time, the problem becomes more serious and can begin to interfere with efficiency and productivity in the workplace.

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Human resource professionals have a responsibility to manage conflicts in the workplace. 

It is unlikely that all conflicts can be resolved, but different tactics can be adopted to reduce tensions within the team. 

In this blog we want to talk a little more about this and that is why we tell you 5 steps to resolve conflicts in the workplace.

1. Establish some ground rules for resolving conflict as a way to resolve conflicts in the workplace

When addressing a workplace conflict between employees, one of the first things HR professionals should do is establish ground rules for everyone involved in the conflict. 

The purpose here is to manage expectations of how all parties involved will behave throughout the conflict resolution process. 

At a minimum, all parties should be required to treat each other with the utmost respect when discussing the matter, to listen to each other's reasoning, and to keep an open mind during subsequent meetings on the subject matter. 

2. Talk to each person affected in private

As a human resources professional, you must always be fair and impartial.

It is important that you first meet with all parties involved in the conflict separately to find out each of their views on the issue at hand. 

Understanding where each participant is coming from will help you better understand the conflict as a whole and how you should deal with the problem. 

It is important that initial meetings be held in private for several reasons:

  • To prevent either party from altering or omitting their version of the story based on what the other party says.
  • To avoid further conflicts.
  • Make sure all parties feel comfortable expressing their feelings and views on the matter at hand.

Talking to employees in private lets you know their feelings and makes them feel heard. 

These types of meetings should be held in a space such as a conference room or private office where no one can overhear or interrupt the session.

3. Do your own research on the problem as a way to resolve conflicts in the workplace

Once you have obtained a statement from all parties, take some time to investigate the case. 

It might also be helpful to talk to the people in the office and get their opinion on the matter. 

This will give you a better idea of how the conflict started and you will be able to identify other possible reasons why the problem could have started and you will have more tools to try to solve the problem.

4. Identify solutions 

Now that you know both sides of the story, have understood the problem, and identified the root of the conflict, it's time to formulate solutions.

Your solutions provide a commitment for all parties that will allow them to continue working and collaborating with each other. 

It also aims to ensure that the same conflict does not happen again in the future. It's always best to come to the table with a set of ideas to resolve them, once all parties agree on the best option, make sure you get verbal agreement from each party so everyone is aligned.

End the meeting by asking everyone to apologize and thank everyone for their part in solving the problem.

5. Follow up as a way to resolve conflicts in the work area

Agreeing on a solution is an important step, but it will have no effect if the parties involved do not implement it. 

Be sure to follow up to make sure they are committed to the solutions provided. If not, it will be necessary to hold another meeting to understand why. 

If so, monitoring will help assess the effectiveness of the solutions provided. In case the problem reappears, act immediately remembering the proposed solutions and providing new ones.

It is important to keep in mind that not all conflicts can be resolved in this way, in some cases a mediator should be asked for help, especially if they are conflicts related to monetary matters.  

In conclusion…

Human resources department workers play a crucial role in the companies they work for. 

They manage the workplace experience for employees, starting from the hiring process, making sure everything is running at an optimal level, and are responsible for resolving any employee disputes. 

To resolve conflicts in the workplace, the human resources team must work as quickly as possible to resolve them, unresolved issues can escalate and affect the productivity of the company.

Use these five steps as a guide in resolving conflicts to prevent them from becoming serious, long-term problems.

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