Conflict is an important part of collaborating within a business environment. Properly approached, conflict allows teams and individuals to acknowledge and evaluate new ways of thinking, while also uncovering issues and stimulating positive cognitive growth. After all, if an idea cannot stand up to sincere criticism, then it should not be allowed to move forward.
Unfortunately, workplace conflict is not always so beneficial or altruistic. And when conflict becomes personal or crosses the line into unproductivity, it can cause considerable damage. Unhealthy conflict creates a divisive work environment. It harms employee morale and makes it difficult to complete tasks properly. Unchecked, conflict can easily lead to employee absenteeism, increased turnover rates, and even customer attrition—making a serious dent in your business’ bottom line.
Conflict resolution exists to provide HR teams leaders and others within your organization a proven set of methodologies for addressing disputes in the workplace. Conflict resolution strategies must be capable of handling disputes between employees, departments, management, and any other associations or groups within the business.
Affective (or interpersonal) conflicts stem from differing personalities and other incompatibilities and are not directly related to any specific task. These kinds of conflicts are most often characterized by negative feelings and emotions, such as frustration and anger.
Conflict in the workplace can come from many multiple sources, including:
Your company cannot exist without collaboration. When conflicts arise and are expressed in non-productive ways, that collaboration breaks down. Rather than facing a common problem to be solved, conflicting parties begin to view each other as the problem. This creates misaligned priorities and prevents the work from progressing. Effective businesses rely on conflict resolution to identify and implement positive solutions, realigning priorities and bringing everyone involved together to face the real problem head-on.
With the right approach to conflict resolution, your business can expect the following advantages:
How you approach a conflict and the outcome you determine will depend heavily on the strategy you employ. Most conflict resolution strategies fall into one of the following four categories:
As mentioned above, good conflict resolution does not mean the absence of conflict; it simply means that conflict is addressed in a positive and productive way. Although every business is different, faces diverse types of conflict, and will likely need to tailor their approach to meet their own unique needs, the following process is a tried-and-true approach to resolving most conflict in the workplace:
Conflict is a natural and often-essential part of collaborating within a business environment. But when conflict stops being productive, successful organizations apply conflict resolution strategies to help get everyone back on track working towards their goals. How your business approaches workplace conflict can have a significant impact on your workplace culture—and your bottom line. This is why it’s essential to have the right HR tools, resources, and support. HR Service Delivery makes this possible.
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