Conflicts at work rarely go unnoticed. If unresolved, you may notice that:

• Motivation and team morale is affected
• Behaviour changes and remarks often have a negative undercurrent
• The working environment becomes tense
• Productivity drops due to a lack of cooperation and complaints
• People observing the conflict can become uncomfortable
• Absences increase, due to stress, depression and unhappiness

It can be difficult to act as an impartial mediator, which is why many employers choose to take a passive approach. This is a typical flight response.

Other employees might choose the fight response, and challenge behaviour.

Natural as these reactions are, they don’t tend to work.

Strategies for managing conflicts

Hear all sides of the story

Have a quiet word with all parties involved, so that everybody get the chance to tell their side of the story

Get to the root of the problem

Often general disagreements are the result of a core issue, such as:

- Personality clashes
- Insufficient training
- Poor communications
- Poor management
- Perceived unfair treatment
- Ambiguously defined job roles
- Inadequate work environments
- Lack of equal opportunities
- Bullying and harassment

• Teach employees strategies

Commonly, conflict is simply due to a difference of opinion or personality clash, and unless employees learn strategies for getting along with each other, conflicts will keep arising

• Find a common ground

It can be as simple as agreeing on the problem – at least it establishes room for moving forward

• Get both parties to agree with the solution

Firstly, it shows you're impartial and care that both parties are satisfied.

Of course, some conflicts are more difficult than others, but the more you encounter them, the better you will get at resolving them.

This article was prepared by Tirebuck Recruitment. They're one of your local Recruitment Companies, Solihull based,  specialising in sourcing temporary and permanent staff.