How to Handle Workplace Conflict: The Do’s and Don’ts

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Workplace conflict – we’ve all seen it or been a part of it. In fact, 85% of employees at all levels experience conflict to some degree. But, there must be some sort of way to handle workplace conflict, isn’t there?

It’s important to understand every angle of conflict for a more thorough resolution. Why? Happy employees will lead to better retention. Knowing this, here are the do’s and don’ts of handling workplace conflict – along with general rules and scenarios to help you see the way these rules work.

Handling Workplace Conflict – General Rules to Follow

  1. Have an open mind
  2. Consult company manual
  3. Give the other person the benefit of the doubt
  4. Respect differences
  5. Catch the conflict early
  6. Listen carefully
  7. Do not assume
  8. Do not say anything you will later regret
  9. Be sure the problem is resolved

These general rules will help you frame conflict resolution and will serve as a reminder as we go through the below scenarios. Now, let’s take a look at how these rules are applied to workplace conflict situations.

Scenario 1 – The Rule Bender

Andrew works for a respected engineering firm as an engineer and loves his job. He’s on time to work and puts in his time to make sure he’s seen as a hard-worker. His co-worker Tim is rarely on time, and tries to find loopholes whenever possible in order to do the least amount of work possible. Their company has a policy that if an employee is over 15 minutes late, they must call their supervisor as soon as they sit down at their desk to make sure they know the employee has arrived. One day, Tim comes in 30 minutes late. Out of concern for Tim’s job, Andrew says “Hey Tim, I just wanted to remind you to call our supervisor so you don’t get in trouble.” Tim gets angry and tells Andrew that their supervisor will never know he was late and that it doesn’t matter.

Employer’s Part

Do – Know what’s going on in your company. As the small business owner, it’s your responsibility to make sure you’re monitoring your employees. In this scenario, if Andrew were to come to you and suggest a re-visit to company policy, you need to realize that it’s probably for a reason. Rather than putting Andrew in a situation where he must tell you about Tim’s tardiness, you can simply thank him for his input and schedule a quick meeting for you staff. If problems continue after the meeting, you must take corrective action.

Don’t – Disregard the situation. Ignoring the problem won’t make it go away. Additionally, make sure you’re sticking to company policy and regularly making it a part of trainings. Read more here…

Source: Bonusly Blog

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