How To Deal With Conflict In The Workplace

How To Deal With Conflict In The Workplace

Conflict in the workplace can be devastating for a business and create an unpleasant atmosphere for everyone. When you face a battle in the workplace as an employee from management or people above you, it can be hard to know where to turn and what you can do. Before taking legal advice as a last resort, you will need to try and resolve the issues with the assistance of your superiors and HR department. You may feel alone when in this situation, but you need to take control and fix the problem if possible.

Below are some tips and advice to help you do this and hopefully avoid going to court or an employment tribunal.

Identify The Source Of The Conflict

One of the first things you will need to do is identify and recognise the source of the conflict and see if there is any way to avoid it. It is often impossible to prevent the conflict, especially when it comes from a superior, and you will want to address the issue sooner rather than later. Letting the problem fester without addressing it can worsen the issue and create a hostile atmosphere in the workplace.

Talk About The Problem With HR

You will need to speak to your HR department about the issue and arrange for a talk between both parties to try and resolve the issue. It is often best done outside the workplace and in a neutral location, and you will want HR to mediate the problem for both parties. When you are sitting down and having a discussion, both parties must be allowed to state their grievances without interruption so both parties can have their say.

Look For A Resolution

Once the problem is out in the open, everyone needs to work together to try and fix the issue and help cease hostilities in the workplace. Your HR department will need to try and find common ground between you and the source of conflict and see if there is a way to resolve it. However, you can sometimes find that HR departments do not adjudicate the situation fairly and sometimes favour one party more, especially management. When this happens, and you fail to make any headway to fix the problem, you may need to take things a step further.

Third Party Help

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When you feel like you are going round in circles and your HR department seems to favour your superior, you may need to seek the help of the ACAS conciliation service. ACAS is the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, and they can help ensure the situation is handled fairly. They can mediate between you and your employer, find common ground to solve the issue, and hopefully ensure both parties are happy.

Using the ACAS services in this way is a last resort, but you can speak to them early to get advice on how to resolve the issue at work, which may prevent you from having to take things so far. With a bit of luck, you can fix your issues and clear the air in the workplace, making it a much more pleasant environment to work in, but if not, you may need to look for a new job.