It’s not a popular idea, but conflict in life is normal. Conflict itself is not inherently positive or negative, but the responses can be. When positive, resolution occurs, and people grow. When negative, interruption leaves people in pain or anger.
When in the workplace, management establishes goals. People with differences work together to meet that goal. Conflict is inevitable. Sometimes, a third party must step in to aid the resolution. That third party is the human resources professional.
Experts recommend that HR professionals step in when one of the following occurs:
Disagreement must never escalate to a point where it becomes damaging to a company. Situations like this demand HR professionals have conflict resolution training.
HR professionals should always foster a feeling of trust with the organization. They are the employees who are the advocate for all. An HR professional must be approachable by any employee.
Conflict avoidance must never occur. Avoiding conflict allows it to grow out of control. When that develops, it’s more difficult to reach a solution. It’s not impossible; it’s more complicated.
A safe and private place to talk is vital to find. Conflict resolution must never occur in a public forum. It needs to happen in a confidential area like a meeting room or an office safe from gossip.
HR professionals have steps to take to ensure a healthy and reasonable resolution. The first step is to ensure company policies and procedures are clear and consistent. Perceived unfair treatment can destroy negotiations fast.
HR is an advocate for all involved. The department must be part of the solution and not the problem. When conflict arises, employees trust that HR is there to help.
All parties involved must practice active listening, it’s especially important for the HR professional. As a neutral third party, all perspectives need seeing to find the truth of the matter. Not intending to, one side overlooks the other's viewpoint. People are different and have different hobbies, such as writing, reading, and forex trading.
An investigation is necessary. It does not have to take forever, but a snap decision resolves no conflict. HR must look into what happened. Human resources must approach each dispute without prejudging. HR should call upon outside help when necessary for legal protections.
HR ensures that all employees are accountable for resolution. Participants establish goals. Involved parties have options presented to meet these goals. These options are created by all involved, so all parties contribute to the solution.
Human resources must always follow-up with all employees involved. Sometimes, situations in life change and bring back bad feelings. Conflicts can also reveal if policies and procedures need clarification for future issues.
As stated before, conflict is always present. Yet, a healthy and fair resolution is possible. Working together is great; succeeding together is better.