When you put a group of strangers together, even in a working environment, the chances are that there will be conflict amongst them at some point.
Though you should do everything you can to encourage a positive team work environment and professionalism at all times, your staff will not always get along.
This may be down to clashes in personality, disagreements in how work should be carried out or personal/medical issues causing stress.
No matter what the reason might be and how big or small, when staff aren’t getting along it can affect everyone else around them and their productivity.
When you encounter this sort of problem, there are several steps that you should take to help your employees resolve their issues and move forward as a team causing as little disruption to the workplace as possible.
- Have one on one discussions
It’s important that you give each party involved the opportunity to sit with you face to face and discuss the problem. You will need to hear every side of the story before you can come to a fair resolution and it is vital that everyone has a chance to do this with complete confidentiality.
- Identify the key problem
Following these meetings, you should be able to identify the root of the issue. It may be that there has been some miscommunication, a difference in personalities/values, or that something has happened outside of work which has caused a fallout. Once you have understood what the problem is, you can start providing fair and compliant solutions.
- A case of bullying?
If the cause of the conflict is a more serious issue such as bullying or harassment, then you should look to your policies and disciplinary procedures when proceeding with the conflict resolution.
- Bring the parties together
Once you have listened to each side of the story and had a chance to draw your own conclusions, you should then invite each of them to a group meeting where you can sit down and have an open discussion. This is your opportunity to offer feedback and potential resolutions to the conflict – this should be a mediation meeting.
- Keep up the communication
Now that the conflict has hopefully been resolved and a fair agreement has been made between yourself and the employees, you should ensure that you keep a close eye on the situation.
This could involve a monthly ‘check-in’ meeting with each of the employees to see how they are getting on.
If you are having any issues with employee conflict or need any type of workplace mediation, we have qualified HR professionals who can offer expert advice or even sit in as a chair on these meetings.
For more information, call us on 0845 2626 260.