Introduction to Conflict
Conflicts are a usual part of any organization’s progress. Usually, conflicts happen when employees working together have disagreements. This is expected because it is common for workplace employees to have diverse ideas, perspectives, beliefs, and interests at some point. Conflict can be divided into two types based on its impact on the business. Different ideas about a business may produce positive results when the individuals involved are willing to brainstorm solutions mutually. Another type of conflict is dangerous to the organization, which occurs when colleagues working together are not getting along well. When colleagues do not get along, this is referred to as a “personal clash,” It can lead to negative work relationships, unlawful discrimination against an employee, or unprofessional behavior, all of which can lead to the business’s demise. Therefore, formulating effective policy for conflict resolution, especially in a healthcare setting, is crucial to maintaining a comfortable, positive environment for everyone within the workplace, ensuring employees’ well-being and building a positive culture for the quality delivery of services.
A Brief Discussion About What Workplace Conflict Is and Why A Policy Is Important
Workplace conflict refers to any dispute within the work setting or among the employees. It may involve disagreements between managers and/or employees, customers, or the company, with the highest probability involving employee disputes outside working hours (Caesens et al., 2019). It is a dynamic concept that may involve a number of forms of disputes that are usually treated differently, such as labor-management conflict and employment conflict. Beyond those two kinds, however, a workplace dispute may arise between two or more workers without the employer being a participant.
When conflicts arise within the workplace, they must be resolved before they escalate into a big problem within the organization. The organization needs to have competent policies and procedures to resolve any underlying conflict peacefully. This is crucial, especially to healthcare organizations that deal with individuals’ lives. A policy refers to a course of action proposed or adopted by an organization to achieve rational outcomes. In this context, the policy is important for guiding the effective action that should be taken for efficient conflict resolution and achieving positive results (Keashly et al., 2020). Although employees having diverse values and beliefs may create tension, a policy for conflict resolution seeks to lead these people into a mutually beneficial change for the organization’s benefit. For instance, when colleagues’ values and beliefs differ within a healthcare setting, the policy may guide them to be empathetic while keeping their common interests in mind. They may focus on what they have in common, such as patients and care practices, to maintain a productive conversation.
Policy and Procedures for Resolving Conflict
Creating a comprehensive policy within a conflict resolution process is crucial for ensuring employees work in harmony and their issues are always resolved within the workplace. The procedure for achieving an airtight policy involves, first, having effective communication within the workplace (Raines, 2019). In this case, as the leader strives to enhance healthy discussion with the rest of the workplace team, it is important to let everyone know that diversified ideas are acceptable. That means it is not necessary for an individual to agree on what is tabled for discussion, but rather they are entitled to different opinions. It helps build a culture of openness where everyone has the freedom to express their ideas within their line of profession, and as a result, ideas are expressed in a manner that minimizes conflict. It even lays the foundation for critical thinking to develop quality ideas.
It is also important for a leader to empower employees to solve conflicts among themselves. This involves showing the employees the importance of discussing the conflict situation among themselves rather than rushing it immediately to the managers (Raines, 2019). This is because what appears to be a conflict between one employee and another may not be, and reporting the incident to the manager may escalate rather than resolve issues; this is because the employee to whom the case is reported may be unaware of what they did, causing the environment to become tense.
Encouraging employees to involve supervisors in critical conflict resolution situations is important. This is because there are situations in which employees alone may not resolve the conflict, but when left to their own devices, it may lead to more tension (Raines, 2019). Managers may frequently assist conflicting staff in concentrating on agreed goals and objectives. The employee may request a meeting to express their concerns if the problem is with the supervisor.
As a leader, it is important to understand the instances in which HR should be involved in conflict resolution. Employees should be made aware that they should contact HR in such cases. This follows an in-depth investigation of the severity of the conflict, such as harassment, bullying, and violence. Such severe conflict should have clearly outlined punishments within the policy to ensure that employees understand what awaits them when involved in such conflict.
As a leader, one should be able to foresee conflict situations within the workplace and address them even before they are reported by just learning about them through observations. Additionally, while resolving conflict, it is important to ensure it is resolved for good (Raines, 2019). This means that the leader should commit themselves to resolve the conflict until it is completely resolved. Most importantly, it is critical to regularly remind employees of the proper code of conduct to avoid conflict scenarios and occurrences. Once conflicts occur within the workplace, it is important for the leaders to understand the critical procedures for resolving them. This involves first assessing the conflict situation by deciding whether it requires attention, analyzing the impact it will have on the workplace, and determining the anticipated change once the conflict is resolved (Stepanova et al., 2020).
The second procedure involves understanding the conflict from the perspective of taking time to determine the desired outcomes and major concerns of the conflict. Consider the dispute from the other side and what you share, like efficient patient care. Considering the other individual’s viewpoint may also help one connect with them, making a favorable resolution simpler.
The third step involves addressing the conflict immediately while it is still relevant before it escalates (Raines, 2019). The fourth step the employee should take is to try to have a private conversation about the issue away from the patients, in healthcare, for instance. Once they meet for a dialogue, it is important for each to clearly state their concerns, particularly their main goal as nurses, and go in the direction of a common goal.
While addressing the conflict, it is important to focus on the issue rather than the colleague they are resolving it with to avoid blaming one another. Additionally, while conversing, it is important to listen actively and be open-minded to highlight new perspectives (Raines, 2019). When it is hard to come to an agreement, it is important to seek a mediator and terminate the dialogue. Lastly, it is important for workers to learn how to avoid future conflicts by developing interpersonal skills such as active listening, managing conflicts, and empathy through effective communication skills.
A Proposed Outline for Training Topics
While new employees are being integrated into the organization for the first time, it is critical to take them through policy and conflict resolution training topics in order to reduce the incidences of unnecessary conflicts (Kay & Skarlicki, 2020). This may involve the following outline:
Understanding what is meant by “conflict management” This topic should seek to explain to the employees the context of conflict within the workplace and be in a position to develop a significant procedure to lead individuals involved in a conflict to completely resolve their issue (Kay & Skarlicki, 2020).
Conflict management strategies This topic seeks to outline various training procedures for approaching different styles of conflict. This diversifies the employee’s capability to resolve a wide range of conflicts within the work environment (Kay & Skarlicki, 2020). It focuses on conflict resolution techniques that improve participants’ capacity to handle emotions, manage conflict, and behave assertively.
Conflict resolution criteria The settlement of conflicts in the workplace is the primary emphasis of our Conflict Management Training, which also provides participants with effective conflict resolution tactics that greatly contribute to the improvement of conflict resolution in the workplace (Kay & Skarlicki, 2020).
The significance of conflict management Different needs, perspectives, and expectations cause conflict. Conflict is inherent in human relationships. More significantly, disagreement may promote considerable progress if managed effectively (Kay & Skarlicki, 2020). Thus, conflict resolution skills are crucial for career and organizational advancement. We included workplace conflict resolution in our leadership training programs because it is so important.
Conflict management is a critical aspect in every organization; therefore, to be a leader, one has to develop a written policy within the work environment that outlines critical guidelines that minimize all possibilities of conflict occurrence. The developed policy should be oriented toward reaching positive change in conflict management. It is also important to note that, as much as efforts are employed to avoid any conflict, it is hard to avoid them; therefore, leaders should have a plan for resolving conflict if it occurs. Most importantly, training new and current employees on the relevant topics of conflict management is a crucial part of avoiding any conflict within the workplace to avoid any downfall as a result of poor employee productivity.