Ways for HR to resolve workplace conflicts

04 Jun 2020

Workplace conflicts are often unavoidable, and when not dealt with in a timely and effective man-ner, it can cause the team dynamics to shift negatively, affect morale, or lead to resignations. As a neutral party, Human Resources can take an active role as both the voice of the management and the employees by leading the resolution. To successfully appease the different parties, here are some tips HR can leverage to ensure the best outcome and minimise work disruptions.

Conduct a thorough investigation After an issue has been formally submitted, HR will need to acknowledge the complaint. By doing so, it lets the employee know that the grievance is not taken lightly. Next, HR can appoint the main point of contact and the lead investigator to follow through on the complaint and start investigating and interviewing various parties to identify the source or cause of the conflict.

Ensure HR integrity During the investigation, HR can provide transparency to the immediate team to minimise specula-tion and ensure that the employee will feel protected should they encounter any threatening behav-iours or professional slights. Other than that, HR can provide counselling resources, and provide guidelines and information to ensure the employees are familiar with the disciplinary process.

Have a formal meeting After the investigations are completed, HR can set up a formal meeting with the parties involved and allow them to bring up their grievances in a safe environment. As a mediator, HR can provide official facts and figures and calm the employees should the discus-sion gets out of hand.

Enforce the consequences After the mediation is completed, HR has to work with relevant managers and relook at past cases to come up with a disciplinary action such as counselling, demotion, or change of teams. Other than the affected parties, HR has to provide adequate information to the rest of the employees and the reasoning of the disciplinary action. Open communication and transparency without divulging too many details can educate employees on how conflicts can be resolved should anybody else wishes to lodge a workplace complaint. By tackling the conflict early on, employees can trust the management more and not exhibit nega-tive behaviours when they encounter issues at work.



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