#HR Trends and Insights

How to Resolve and Manage Conflict in the Workplace

April 12, 2024

Conflict in the Workplace: How Lifestyle Benefits Can Help

Conflict in the workplace can arise from various sources, ranging from communication breakdowns to a difference of opinions, and it is crucial for organizations to set ground rules to address these issues before they arise.

Workplace conflicts can have detrimental effects on both individuals and the organization. So, let’s examine the art of conflict resolution and avoid decreased productivity, increased stress levels, and a toxic work environment.

Common Types of Conflict in the Workplace

The workplace is a very complicated place. You have a multitude of personalities from different backgrounds with many types of working styles.

This is bound to create a variety of different categories of conflict to pay attention to.

You can’t ignore conflict, so addressing it and finding creative solutions to stomp it out is part of your company culture.

Interdependent Task-Based Conflicts

Sometimes, many inter-functional processes occur within an overlapping work stream.

Interdependence in this nature can be frustrating and create conflict, especially among different departments.

For example, if an IT team is responsible for establishing accounts and technology for the hiring of a new employee but doesn’t deliver before their starting date.

What should HR do if the person arriving on their first day isn’t set up to work?

Personality-Based Conflicts

We are never going to like all the people we meet, and in the office, there will always be personality clashes. People from different backgrounds will have been taught to handle conflict differently.

Manage conflict bypromoting mutual respect in the workplace and have well-defined ways to deal with any grievances that arise.

Differences in Work Styles

Workplace conflict often happens because people have different ways of getting things done.

One employee might be task-oriented, and another could be people-involved or when methodical meets hasty, conflict can easily arise.

Leadership Style Conflicts

Differences in leadership styles can easily cause conflict. One person could be direct and short whereas another could be more open and collaborative.

When it comes to leading an organization, it is important to understand how best to communicate with your employees.

Communication Breakdowns

Lack ofclear communication can lead to misunderstandings and conflicts. Be proactive in addressing misunderstandings promptly. Encourage open dialogue to clarify any miscommunications.

Differences in Opinions

Divergent views on work-related matters can create tension among employees. Foster a culture of mutual respect for differing opinions.

Encourage healthy debates and discussions to find common ground and provide a neutral mediator.

Competition for Resources

Limited resources can lead to competition, forcing conflicts to arise among team members.

Encourage collaboration and sharing of resources.

Implement fair allocation processes to avoid feelings of inequality.

Personal Biases

Prejudices and biases can influence interactions and relationships in the workplace.

Promote diversity and inclusion within the organization and provide training on unconscious bias to raise awareness and foster empathy.

What Are 5 Ways to Resolve Conflict?

Resolving conflicts in the workplace is crucial to maintaining a positive and healthy work environment.

It is essential to address conflicts promptly and constructively through open communication, active listening, and empathy.

Here are five strategies to help resolve everything from verbal insults to passive-aggressive workplace conflicts.

1. Clarify What Is the Source of Conflict

A crucial step in solving conflict is to find the source. Determining the source of the dispute helps explain the process that created the conflict.

In addition, both parties can accept what the dispute is. It is important to make conflict resolution steps address the needs of both sides of the problem.

You should make sure the two parties understand the other person’s point of view.

Gather information so all perspectives are considered.

Continue asking questions until it seems as though everyone has a better understanding of the situation and is on the same page.

2. Determine Ways to Meet the Common Goal

When handling conflicts, all parties need to have the common objective to resolve them, and you must be conscious of any different levels of conflict. Sometimes, only one side has an issue.

When a conflict has been identified, you need to get together with all parties to find common ways to execute and solve the conflict at hand.

Listen together, communicate, and work on ideas until you have put all grievances to bed.

3. Written Rules, Policies, and Agreements

Employees need to know how workplace conflicts are handled. In general, an organization communicates these conflict resolution expectations to employees through employee handbooks, HR policies, and written agreements.

Written HR policies are essential to guide managers and employees regarding conflict management.

This policy should contain any formal measures aimed at managing conflict, helping employees resolve conflict, and provisions prohibiting retaliation against employees that raise concerns with other employees.

4. Training for Managers

All managers should have conflict resolution training. They should be fully informed of any issues before responding to a problem. This ensures fair treatment and protects the employer against legal problems.

5. Encourage Open Communication

Encouraging open and honest communication can help to address issues before they escalate.

Active listening is crucial in resolving conflicts and ensuring all parties feel heard and understood.

Three very important aspects of successful communication include the following:

  • Empathetic responses
  • Seeking common ground
  • Compromise

How Do You Handle a Conflict at Work?

Make sure it’s a mutually convenient time to talk and express your desire to find a solution.

Schedule a time to meet and discuss the conflict in a neutral location.

Identify and work toward solutions both parties can support.

Get to the Root Cause of the Conflict

  1. Collaborative Problem Solving: Encouraging employees to work together to find solutions can lead to more sustainable resolutions. Brainstorming ideas and considering different perspectives can help to find a compromise that satisfies all parties involved.
  2. Set Clear Policies in Place: Organizations must develop written policies and definitions about dispute resolution mechanisms which are available to employees and employers.
    The policy should list the extent and limitations of each method and the specific terms of each procedure.
  3. Setting expectations for behavior: Setting conflict resolution techniques can provide a framework for addressing issues when they arise. Companies with a system that allows for parties to settle disputes within the business create incentives to avoid expensive litigation from the outside.
  4. Utilize Mediation: Bringing in a neutral third party to mediate conflicts can help facilitate productive discussions. Mediators can help to guide conversations, ensure both sides are heard, and work towards a mutually agreeable resolution to resolving a conflict.
  5. Seek Professional Help: In some cases, conflict resolution may be too complex or emotionally charged to handle internally. Seeking assistance from an HR professional or outside consultant can provide a fresh perspective and help to navigate and manage your conflict resolution skills in difficult situations.

Strategies for Creating a Positive Workplace Environment

  • Foster open communication channels to prevent misunderstandings and promote a positive workplace culture.
  • Hold regular team meetings to cultivate collaboration and transparency.
  • Encourage feedback and active listening among team members.
  • Clearly communicate expectations and goals to avoid confusion.
  • Offer incentives such as bonuses or recognition programs to show appreciation.
  • Promote diversity and inclusion to embrace different perspectives.
  • Celebrate individual strengths and contributions within the team.
  • Encourage team-building activities to nurture camaraderie.
  • Provide resources to help employees manage stress effectively.
  • Offer mindfulness programs or stress management workshops.
  • Implement wellness initiatives, such as Edenred’s Lifestyle Benefits.

Mitigating Stress Through Edenred’s Lifestyle Benefits

Offer employees access to a range of lifestyle benefits. Health and wellness programs have been shown to help greatly reduce stress levels.

Edenred’s Lifestyle Benefits can play a vital role in creating a positive work environment by alleviating stress in a multitude of ways.

Employees can access discounts on wellness services and products. Wellness initiatives can enhance employee morale and productivity, and implementing wellness programs can promote a healthy work environment.

These are employee-built, flexible wellness solutions that provide your team with coverage for theirchoice of well-being options:

  1. Offerings such as gym memberships can encourage physical activity.
  2. Subsidized healthy meal options can support overall nutrition.
  3. Providing flexible work schedules can help employees manage their time effectively.
  4. Allowing telecommuting or flexible hours can reduce stress.
  5. Feedback mechanisms can address concerns and improve morale.
  6. Recognizing and rewarding employees for their hard work can boost motivation.
  7. Promoting work-life balance can improve overall job satisfaction.
  8. Paid time off or parental leave can support employees’ personal lives.
  9. Offering discounts on various goods and services can enhance employee satisfaction and happiness.

Work with Edenred Today

Conflict in the workplace is inevitable, but with the right strategies and resources to address conflict now, it can be effectively resolved, leading to a more positive and harmonious work environment where clear communication and collaborative problem-solving lead to success.

Leveraging resources like Edenred’s Lifestyle Benefits can increase employee satisfaction and improve overall performance, optimizing your organization across the board.

For more information on how these benefits can help your team, contact Edenred today!

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