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Correcting Employee Conflicts

Jan 8, 2008
There are times when there are disagreements between employees that can get out of hand and end up in a physical confrontation. The key is to learn how to prevent this from escalating and how to resolve employee conflicts peacefully. It is best at the time of hire that you explain to your employees that conflicts are resolved in a civilized manner and anything other than that is unacceptable. Set forth a plan that allows you to have a step by step process in correcting employee conflicts.

When To Jump In

It can be difficult to say if a small disagreement can turn into hand to hand combat or if it will simply dissipate through the disagreement process. So when do you know if you should become involved in an altercation? If you see or hear employees arguing in a back and forth manner but it is not disruptive or containing crude language you can use your own discretion in waiting to see if it will end here or if you should pull the employees aside. In most cases waiting for lude remarks and screaming and shouting should not be an option. Prevention is key in stopping any unwanted behavior.

Conflict Resolution

It is best to call your employees into an office or quiet space for discussion. Have the two employees take a seat facing on another and allow each employee to state what is causing the conflict. Inform each employee that you will listen in full detail to each side of the story and assist them in solving the issue. If you find that the issue is not work related and in fact that it is of a personal nature you can do one of two things. Suggest that these two employees keep their personal issues out of the work place and resolve this issue outside the business property or you can provide time in the office or allow the employees to leave the work place until the issue is resolved.

Employee Agreement

As suggested in the beginning of this article you can bring your conflict information to light through an employee agreement. Have a document prepared stating how you see conflict and how it is to be handled in the work place. Have a description of conflict resolution choices and have the employee sign and date the document. The cause for this is in the event that you are forced to relieve someone of their work position due to conflict or violent altercations in the workplace you are protected by this legally binding document. In a court case you can show proof that you set place the rules and regulations as well as consequences for this type of behavior and you will see no further consequences from the former employee.

Reasoning Behind Conflict Resolution

Conflicts disrupt other employees and can cause property damage as well as lawsuits when someone is injured. Taking the above precautions are simply set in place to protect yourself, your business and your employees. It is as simple as that.
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Obinna Heche. Los Angeles - California

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