staff disputes

Conflict can often be visible, such as a heated argument between colleagues or between members of management in a meeting. It can also be invisible, whereas someone has sent an email or called a colleague and they are not or purposely responding. Some individuals may hide what is going on as they could be embarrassed about it. Sometimes conflict can occur between teams resulting in a stand-off and isolating themselves from the business.

Either way it occurs, it is not good for business. Employee motivation levels may drop and they become less co-operative to work with others. You may see changes in other people’s behaviours, as well as reduction in productivity levels. You may also see your employee attendance levels changing, more individuals calling in sick, wishing to leave work early as they are finding it uncomfortable working in that environment.

How do you resolve the issue?

I have over 20 years experience of dealing with different levels of conflict in the workplace. I find it’s always advisable in the first instance to establish the issue and causes of the conflict. You would also wanting to know what resolutions they are looking for. At that point it is very advantageous to arrange a mediation meeting. It’s sometimes easy enough to chair the meeting with a manager and you don’t always need to get expert help at this point. Then actions agreed and a review period set. If you fail to resolve it, you would ideally be looking to speak to a professional like myself to find out what can happen next to resolve the issue.

Tania De Bruler, HR Consultant, Tel: 01905 317537 or Email: