Are You Dealing with Workplace Conflicts?

With various types of personalities and views in one place, workplace conflicts are bound to arise. They can occur in any size organization. Disagreements and conflicts are the norm in any workplace. With such diversity in the workplace, with different roles, goals and differences of opinions, there is an overwhelming need to resolve the differences in a positive way. Conflicts in the workplace can occur for many reasons. A lack of communication, hostile emotions and a lack of acceptable workplace behavior standards are causes for conflict in the workplace. Even if a person stays to themselves, trouble may still find them. While you can try to avoid conflict, you cannot escape it.

The fact is that conflict in the workplace is unavoidable. It will find you whether you look for it or not. Having the keen ability to recognize conflict and understand the nature of conflict, will help you find a resolution and bring the matter to a close before it escalates into something more.  In a management role, being able to recognize the signs of conflict and identifying the key aggravators will help you resolve the matter in a timely fashion. Having this quality will determine whether or not you are a leader in your organization. Being able to take this leadership role and make a positive outcome will force others in the office to follow in your footsteps and create a peaceful work environment.

Acquiring effective conflict resolution skills is an essential part of a containing the issue. Unresolved conflicts often times can result in low productivity, lack of teamwork, tension in the office and verbal disputes. Employers that fail to handle workplace conflict in the appropriate manner, or even at all will eventually lose their star employees. This can cause a high turnover rate in the office and the company’s failure to retain their employees. Employees do not want to work in a hostile environment where they feel as though they are being held back professionally as well as personally due to conflict in the office. Leaders within an organization are responsible for creating a work environment that enables people to thrive and evolve in their career.

 

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Workplace Romance-Love Story or Employer Nightmare?

Love is in the air! No matter where a person may be, love can strike at any time. Even at the workplace. Employers have no control over human nature, so a workplace romance policy is meaningless if two people really want to be together. According to a recent survey of 8,000 workers by the job-search website CareerBuilder.com, four out of 10 employees have dated someone at work; 17 percent have done it twice. Before getting into a workplace romance, an employee should know the company’s policies regarding office relationships, if one exist. If relationships are forbidden, there could be serious consequences to your career.

A policy may be enforceable with leadership positions. The last thing that an employer needs is one of their management personnel becoming involved with a subordinate. Things going sour between the two and the hurt employee may file a sexual harassment lawsuit against the employer. Employments can educate their management team by offering sexual harassment training. Make it clear that you discourage work place romance with a subordinate, and to use discretion and good judgment when making decisions that could affect the company overall. A rumor mill can quickly spread. This can also create problems among colleagues if others in the office think that someone is receiving special treatment or a promotion just because they are romantically involved with a supervisor.

What happens when the romance does not work out and the workers become hostile toward one another? This can cause serious problems at work such as verbal or even worse, a physical altercation. The two may even begin to slander one another, begin to behave unprofessionally. It can turn into a situation where one person does not want to come into work because they cannot face the other person. This can cause missed deadlines, failure to meet client expectations, and worst of all, letting down others in the workplace that depend on them. They may even go as far as trying to sabotage the other person’s reputation or work product.

The problem becomes more difficult in a smaller office because there are less options for the employer. It can be costly for small business owners to insure against it by purchasing employment practices liability insurance. It is recommend that small business owners purchase the policy because it covers employee lawsuits and attorney’s fees. Without it, small businesses can go bankrupt even if they are not at fault and they win the lawsuit.

Tips to Consider:

  • Be discreet
  • Review your office polices regarding workplace relationships if one exist
  • Do not engage in gossip
  • Avoid public displays of affection
  • Avoid a supervisor-subordinate relationship
  • Consider your career
  • Remain professional