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What is Effective Conflict Management?

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From an HR point of view, there is possibly nothing more challenging than having to deal with an employee conflict. When left to run out of line, conflicts can cause mayhem and lower moral levels within the entire workforce. This will eventually cause productivity to drop and cause disharmony within the ranks.

Knowing how to effectively manage conflicts at source is a vital part of any company’s HR policies and procedures.

What Does Effective Conflict Management Look Like?

Employees need to know that the door to their manager’s office is always open should they have a problem. When experiencing an issue with another member of staff, some employees can be loathed to do this, because it looks as though they are ‘telling tales’. The best way around this is to have set polices and procedures in place which staff should follow when they realise they cannot deal with a conflict themselves.

Effective conflict management includes:

  • Not taking sides
  • Dealing with both parties with respect and calmness
  • Listening to facts over opinion
  • Keeping company welfare at the heart of everything
  • Understanding that conflicts have a direct impact on morale
  • Offering both sides any counselling and support they may need
  • Being able to calmly bring the issue to a conclusion, without causing further distress to either side

Conflict management is often about meditation, and a HR department needs to act as this source of middle ground. Training should be given to all HR staff in this regard, to allow that lack of bias and calm, reasoning voice to shine through, when emotions might be running high for both parties involved.

Of course, effective conflict management is also about bringing the issue to a firm conclusion, with the health and wellbeing of both parties in mind, but also the success and future growth of the organisation.

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