How can conflict in the workplace be resolved?

For most organisations, the staff are the greatest asset. However, they can also create additional challenges which are not always easy to manage. When conflict arises, prompt attention is needed, ideally before there is any form of escalation.

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What is conflict in the workplace?

Conflict can take many forms within the workplace, from informal fallings out between staff members to a full-blown employment tribunal claim against the organisation.

There is an increasing need to engage with external organisations to provide the best possible support. Engaging in preventative measures such as having staff attend Mental Health Training Courses Plymouth from a provider like helps to identify the early signs of distress and can be invaluable.

Resolving conflict in the workplace

But what happens when conflict breaks out and, despite all best efforts, cannot be resolved informally?

The organisation should make sure that they have a robust grievance and disciplinary policy that allows employees to raise issues in a safe forum. Guidance in relation to this can be accessed from the independent body ACAS here.

Workplace mediation can offer a good first step, particularly if a grievance has been raised. However, care should be taken not to act to the detriment of the person raising the grievance, by seeking to move them to a different team for example.

Where there is a broader conflict between staff and the organisation, it may be helpful to engage in a collective discussion with a smaller number of representatives who can summarise the position and agree on behalf of the wider workforce.

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The key to managing conflict in the workplace is to focus on preventative communication and to encourage mediation and cooperation. Training key members of staff to support this process will pay dividends for any organisation.

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