Workplace conflicts.

HR issues are a normal part of hiring and managing a large number of employees and are commonplace in the work environment. Once in a while, issues will emerge that seem unpredictable. Because it can be difficult to know what the next issue might be presented before you, it is paramount to have a smart approach for workplace conflict resolution.

We hope these helpful tips better prepare you to deal with HR issues in the workplace.

Dealing With HR Problems

Discover The Real Problem

The first step to resolving an HR issue is discovering what really happened.

Here’s the big secret behind workplace conflict resolution: HR issues in the workplace normally go much deeper than the surface-level problem. It is crucial to be cognizant of this. Only when we know the root and accurate information of a problem can we begin to fix it.

While it is important to talk to the employees directly involved, also discretely talk to others if the situation calls for it. You may be surprised by the answers. For example, there’s a good chance that this workplace problem is actually caused by something happening in the employee’s personal life or by a system design that puts one person at a disadvantage for success.

Focus On A Resolution, Not Accusations

Remember that your goal is to resolve the conflict, not to instigate further problems. There’s no point in making accusatory statements that incite more conflict. Keep an open mind when talking with the employees and make sure this is very apparent. You want the employees to be able to trust and confide in you, otherwise a ‘win-win’ resolution will be nearly impossible.

Be Proactive

There’s a few key workplace conflict resolution strategies you can use to minimize workplace drama:

Do nothing at all – This HR tactic probably sounds like bad advice, but don’t brush it off just yet. If you get a notification of a problem, it’s best to sit back and wait for the problem to resolve itself. Give it a few days. Many smaller issues will resolve themselves (sometimes employees can be quick to report a minor issue) and will lead to a stronger bond within the workplace. If the problem still persists after this point, now it’s your turn to step in.

Checks and balances – Make sure your company culture is poised for success. Ask yourself:

  • Is there an open line of communication between HR and employees for these sort of issues?
  • Does your company culture foster healthy (or detrimental) competition between employees? If done improperly, this can lead to animosity among coworkers..
  • Do you have a formal process for employee complaints? Is there an anonymous option?
  • Does your workplace cater to all of your employees’ needs, or only a small segment?

These are all important questions to consider before a problem arises in the workplace.

Don’t forget the “H” in HR – You’re dealing with humans, which means you need to empathize and understand each individual point of view before coming to a definite conclusion. Ideally, you want to figure out a win-win solution to every employee problem. If this is impossible, then try to be unbiased when deciding on a course of action.

At the end of the day, realize that no one has the intention of causing problems for their employer or coworker…. sometimes it just happens. So focus on coming to a suitable resolution that will help foster a close-knit company culture.