Conflict is inevitable in the contemporary workplace due to individual differences. People have different behaviors, personalities and cultural beliefs that might be one of the reason for conflict (Blank, 2019). However, the problem arises when the conflict is not addressed effectively. The negative effects of not mitigating conflict is reduced performance, increased employee turnover, increased stress levels, bad reputation, and many more. There are several strategies that can be used to solve conflict in the workplace. One of the strategies is conflict management training to equip them with appropriate skills.
Negative Issues Linked With Conflict in the Workplace
There are several negative effects of conflict in the workplace. Firstly, conflict reduces the productivity of an organization because it takes employees away from focusing on the tasks assigned. The leaders and managers are more likely to take a lot of their time solving the disputes. Secondly, conflict in the workplace may result into increased employee turnover. People who are increasingly frustrated with the less of conflict may decide to leave. Thirdly, conflict may increase stress levels among staff members. Fourthly, there is a possibility that conflict may escalate to violence (Hussein & Al-Mamary, 2019). Therefore, the adverse effects of conflict makes the organization unconducive for employees.
The other negative effects of conflict are damaged reputation, lack of communication and absence of teamwork. Firstly, when an organization fails to solve conflict, one of the consequence is bad public reputation. The work environment is likely to be perceived as unfavorable for employees to effectively perform their role. Secondly, un addressed conflict can lead to divided team. The absence of teamwork contribute to the inability of the employees to effectively come together on projects, be jointly productive and stay positive (Hussein & Al-Mamary, 2019). Thirdly, conflict creates an environment that does not support effective communication. As a result, the issues that come with conflict affects employee’s performance and bad reputation.
Measures, Programs, and Processes Used To Mitigate Conflict
The following are some of the measures that can be used to mitigate conflict in an organization:
- An organization should provide conflict resolution training to leaders and employees. Training enables the employees to acquire appropriate skills for effective management of conflict.
- There is also a need to offer training to enhance employees’ communication skills. When individuals communicate effectively in the workplace, they can easily solve an issue.
- Encourage the employees to create a positive relationship with colleagues in the workplace.
- The organization should consider adopting team building initiatives to allow the employees work together and foster trust.
- The organization should establish a formal complaint process (Blank, 2019).
Provide Conflict Resolution Training
Conflict resolution training is among the most effective technique used to manage conflict in an organization. An organization can minimize the harmful impact of conflict by assisting employees in developing the skills required to successfully settle disagreements in their life. This increases people’s trust in their ability to handle both personal and professional conflicts (Blank, 2019). It also makes people more effective at dealing with minor disputes as they arise, rather than allowing them to escalate into significant ones.
Communication skills training
Training employees on effective communication skills is an integral process in addressing the issue of conflict in the workplace. One of the primary cause of conflict in an organization is miscommunication. Employees can improve their capacity to interact successfully with a wide range of people and manage the communication issues that are frequently at the heart of corporate conflict by receiving communication skills training (Blank, 2019). For example, the employees will develop key skills such as attentive listening, and avoiding emotive words.
Adopt Team Building Activities
Team building activities are used to foster a positive relationship among employees. Through the team development process, organizational leaders and managers can greatly increase teamwork and productivity. These activities allow team members to become more acquainted with one another, to establish acceptable behaviors and patterns of engagement, and to plan how team difficulties and conflicts will be resolved (Blank, 2019). With a good relationship, employees are more likely to understand each other and mitigate conflict.
Create a Formal Complaint Process
A formal complaint process enables the employees to trust the system especially in mitigating conflict. When a conflict cannot be addressed amicably, employees must file a formal complaint. It is critical that all coworkers understand how to carry out this procedure ensuring that they do not feel awkward. The employee must fill out a written complaint complete and send it to the HR Manager for further analysis and action (Blank, 2019). There is need to make sure that the process is trusted by everyone in the organization.
Process of Conflict Resolution
The process of conflict mitigation are as follows:
- Identify the cause of conflict: it is important to understand the factors that led to the conflict.
- Invite the parties involved in conflict for interrogation: ensure that everyone engaged in the process are invited.
- Demand explanation: listen to explanation from all sides to further understand the cause of conflict.
- Offer solution: after the explanation, develop a solution to the problem.
- Agreement: there is need to formulate an agreement to make the process binding and effective (Blank, 2019).
Beyond Human Resource Management
To solve conflict, it is important to go beyond human resource management. Firstly, foster an open communication when addressing a conflict. This enables employees to be free when sharing information regarding the conflict. Secondly, the management can consider outsourcing employee relation expert to help in solving the problem and foster a positive relationship (Blank, 2019). Thirdly, mediation and collaboration techniques can also be used to assist in mitigating the issue. Therefore, it is integral to engage external resources especially when internal tools are ineffective in addressing the problem.
ACHIEVE Centre for Leadership. (2020). Should conflict resolution skills training be mandatory? Web.
Blank, S. (2019). Managing organizational conflict. McFarland.
Hussein, A. F. F., & Al-Mamary, Y. H. S. (2019). Conflicts: Their types, and their negative and positive effects on organizations. International Journal of Scientific & Technology Research, 8(8), 10-12.