When you work within a social gathering, it is only normal to have conflicts. There can be conflicts on all sorts of things. However, the employer needs to sort through these conflicts and ensure that they resolve the issue as soon as possible. While it may sound easy but resolving a dispute between two employees is anything but. Many employers struggle with staying unbiased and ensuring that the decision they make is completely fair and as per company policy. If you are an employer who wants to learn how to resolve conflict at work between two employees, read this article and find six proven tips to put all disputes to rest!
1. Don't Avoid Conflicts
Avoidance is the worst thing you can do when you are in a position of power. If a conflict arises on your watch, the first thing you need to do is embrace it. Accept that there is a conflict and that you need to address it. If you keep ignoring the conflict, you will give birth to resentment in both of your employees, and the conflict will only get bigger instead of resolving. It is, without doubt, going to be uncomfortable for you to address the dispute, but if you don't manage it yourself, you might not be able to control the consequences that will pursue.
Look the conflict right in the eye and deal with it as soon as possible. If the conflict does not come to you right away and you notice something wrong, you can take matters into your own hands and call on your employees to resolve the issue. Avoidance of conflicts shows weak leadership and your employees will not appreciate your absenteeism when they need you the most.
2. Find the Source
Every conflict has a source. As an employer who wishes to resolve problems, you must first look for the source of the conflict before you can get on to address the situation. Conflict is not an alien concept, and several of us have conflicts with one person or the other every day..
Come to terms with what actually caused the conflict. If you can understand the root of the problem, you will be able to understand how the issue started to cause a problem. You can get both the employees to sit down and illustrate the issue exactly. This is where you can see if both the parties are on the same page and there are no misunderstandings about the reason for the conflict. Many times, people do not really have conflicts but misunderstand the cause, which later propagates to a conflict.
Once a mutual agreement is reached, you can ask them further follow-up questions to paint a clear picture of all the events that transpired. Make sure the parties agree on the foundation of the story before you move on to the next question.
3. Speak In Private
If a conflict is between two people, it should remain between two people. If you attempt to resolve a conflict in front of several people, none of the parties will be able to communicate properly. As an employer, you must make sure that you respect the dignity and privacy of your employees. You must give them a safe space where they can be extremely vocal and talk about everything that's bothering them.
The right environment is vital for a fruitful conversation. If the parties do not feel safe, they might clam up, and the issue will never be resolved. Call the parties involved in your office as that is the most private place you can access. Make sure that no one disturbs your conversation and that you pay utmost attention to your employees and let them each tell their side of the story. A problem cannot reach its resolve if the other person is not ready to listen. Give each of them turns to explain their sides. Things might get out of hand and it might turn into an argument. This is where you must exercise your authority and clearly illustrate that you will not tolerate interruptions. Give both of the parties, equal opportunity to describe their side of the story so that none of them feel discriminated against.
Make sure that you go into the meeting with a positive attitude to reap positive outcomes.
Now that you have listened to the concerns of both the parties involved, you need to have an investigation of your own. You cannot rely on them for factual information. Both the employees might be driven by their emotions and can possibly distort facts to fit their side of the story. This is why you shouldn't give a judgment after the meeting. First try to find the facts from an unbiased, third party.
Not only that, but you need to analyze the information you gather from all the sources to put the complete picture together. This will help you determine exactly what happened and what led to the conflicts. Once your investigation is complete, you can talk to your employees again, with the hopes of ending the conflict.
5. Move towards Resolve
Obviously, you need to look for a solution to the conflict, but a solution needs to be based on a shared goal. For instance, you need to understand the common objective for both of your employees. If they do not have a common objective, help them figure it out by talking to them and asking them how they see the conflict ends. You need to first listen to things they have in mind and then list down all the options they have to put an end to the conflict at hand.
Communicating all the options effectively can pave the way to a solution.
6. Find Midway
Since conflict is a two-way street, you can't decide on a solution that favors one party more than the other. In this situation, you are the arbitrator, which means that you cannot pick sides. One sure way to make sure that you don't end up playing favorites is by making your employees meet each other halfway.
You can communicate with the employees and ask them what things they are willing to compromise on and have a solution to said problem. This will help you realize all the gaps and where you can make a bridge to reach a solution. Make your employees work together and not against each other settle their problem. This will resolve the conflict and teach your employees to work together and avoid any future issues.
Since your employees settle their differences on their own accords, they won't feel as if a solution was imposed on them.
As mentioned abundantly, there is no hiding away from it. Therefore, it would be best to deal with it as soon as possible. Once you put the tips mentioned above to test, you will be able to resolve these issues effectively.