Conflicts are part of human nature. They can be of personality, interests or values. But one thing is certain: they all come from differences. And do you know what conflict management is and how to deal with it?
Despite being often linked to confrontations, conflict situations are not always harmful. When properly managed, conflict can become the driving force for positive change in the company.
Continue reading today's post and understand what conflict management is and how to deal with and mediate the resolution of disagreements in the company.
What is conflict management?
We call conflict management the set of methods and practical processes that aim to manage conflicting situations.
Conflict management is a way of mediating impasses between people or teams, reducing their negative impact and making the conflict situation somewhat productive.
According to dictionary Aulete, the concept of conflict is “Opposition of ideas, feelings or interests”. In other words, conflict is the clash between opposing forces or differing opinions. Where there is a group of people, there is conflict.
In other words: however great the synergy between the teams of a company, there will inevitably be some type of conflictual situation. This is where the need to adopt measures aimed at conflict management comes in.
Some large companies, which have a high number of employees, tend to create specific centers focused exclusively on conflict management within the Human Resources sector.
When managed efficiently and didactically, conflicts can be converted into great opportunities for learning and personal and professional growth.
What are the causes of conflicts in the company?
In general, conflicts in a company are usually caused by personal or professional disagreements, divergences of opinions or obstacles that directly or indirectly affect the work of a specific team or employee.
Some of the main reasons for conflicts in the company are:
- very sudden or rapid changes in processes;
- unrealistic deadlines or non-compliance with them;
- diverging objectives and goals;
- unavailability or poor distribution of resources;
- interdependence in the execution of tasks;
- communication failures or misinterpretation;
- lack of information;
- contradiction in the company's stance in relation to its culture code and policies;
- imposition of new rules and restrictions;
- implementation of new procedures;
- toxic leaders;
- Power abuse;
Conflict and power situations are almost always related – whether through disputes or abusive postures.
Authoritarian or “hard-headed” employees have more difficulties with conflicts. Whereas more resilient and empathetic professionals handle these situations better.
Conflict management at work
Most of the time, the word “conflict” is interpreted from a negative perspective, associated with fights or clashes. However, conflicts can bring positive results – as we will show later.
Everything will depend on the posture adopted, both by those involved and by the company. There is a huge difference between admitting the existence of the conflict and facing it or denying its existence and “putting hot cloths” on the situation.
Some negative forms adopted by companies, in addition to denying conflicts, are to impose solutions, to diminish the importance, to relativize the causes or even to avoid conflicting situations.
The companies that deal with conflicts in a healthy way seek to mediate conflict situations, betting on dialogue and negotiation, always focusing on to integrate the parties involved.
It is worth remembering that conflict resolution is not the exclusive responsibility of HR, but of those involved and direct leaders.
Therefore, it is important to have trainings and awareness campaigns for everyone to engage and take responsibility for maintaining a organizational climate healthy.
The secret to dealing with conflicts in a healthy way is to cultivate a harmonious and empathic environment, with a internal communication open and efficient.
How to resolve conflicts between employees
The success of conflict management will depend on how the mediator will behave along the steps that involve solving the problem.
The person responsible for mediating conflicts must be totally impartial and focus on the interests of those involved – not on their personal and professional positions.
It is also important to look for points of approximation between the conflicting parties. This helps to broaden perspectives and search for more efficient solutions.
Another important point is to act with clarity and objectivity, both when analyzing the situation and during the mediation itself. This ensures more assertiveness in the conclusions and prevents the focus from being lost during the conversation.
The way to deal with a conflict depends on a few variables. Among them are the intensity, duration, context and causes of the conflicting situation.
There are some measures that must be taken as soon as a conflict is known to exist. Are they:
The first step in conflict management is to find out the facts about the event. This involves investigating the nature and source of the conflict, as well as identifying those involved.
Then, it is necessary to talk individually with each one to hear the possible versions of the story.
Keep in mind that, at this point, it is very important to practice empathetic listening and attentive observation. Don't just stick to complaints. Try to identify the needs behind the criticism.
After having heard all sides, it will be necessary to analyze the information collected impartially. Identify possible misunderstandings or noise in communication between the parties.
The stage of negotiation it involves developing possible solutions to the conflict jointly.
First of all, it requires a joint conversation, mediated by the conflict manager. The dialogue should serve to clarify the perceptions of both parties. Thus, you will ensure that there is an understanding of the needs of each side.
Finally, the mediator must guide the creation of proposed solutions in a collaborative way, considering all sides.
Often, one of the parties will have to waive some requirement. If this is the case, it is necessary to make sure that those involved are aware and accordingly, committing themselves so that there are no disagreements.
After mediation of conflicts, it is time to put the solutions into practice. But the manager's work conflict does not stop there.
It is necessary to carry out follow-up work, monitoring the possible consequences – positive or negative – of the conflict and its evolution, as well as checking whether the proposals are being fulfilled.
It is worth remembering that not every conflict needs a task force to be resolved. Some situations can be resolved among those involved, without the need for intermediation by the company.
Valuing financial well-being
We live in a time when HR must take on, once and for all, its multifunctional and strategic side for the qualification of the workforce of its companies.
Often, taking the reins of conditions external to the work environment, but which impact on the professional routine. This is the case with financial well-being for employees.
And as an example of this practice, a new modality reached the UK residents market – wages on demand.
The CareerBuilder survey, conducted in 2017, attested that 78% of respondents are barely able to settle accounts with their salary.
In addition, of the more than 3,000 respondents, about ¾ of them also attested that they have one or more accumulated debts. Clear sign that something needs to be changed, do you agree?
O on-demand salary it is a modality that has been gaining strength in the market and aims to add flexibility so that employees receive for hours worked, but not yet paid. Something that alleviates many of the financial problems – and those generated by the challenges of closing accounts.
Let's look at a simple example: if the company has the habit of making payments for its human resources only on the 30th, or on the fifth business day of each month, professionals are limited to that.
If a pending account is going to earn interest in that period when there is no more money in the account, the debts accumulate. However, with the offer of salary on demand, the professional can receive payment for days already worked whenever he wants. Best of all, he has the flexibility to plan his month.
We recommend that you read this article to better understand on-demand pay. In it you will understand the functionalities of the HR Consultant UKy, a corporate benefit of payments on demand.
Impacts of conflict situations in the company
Unmediated conflict situations can have very negative impacts, directly affecting the organizational climate.
Unresolved conflicts generate disagreements, disharmony between the teams and hostile treatment. In addition, they can generate feelings of frustration and demotivation, directly affecting the productivity of the employee.
But the harm does not end there. Negative conflicts also have psychological and even physical impacts due to the stress and the anxiety caused.
The result is a vicious circle: the feeling of dissatisfaction and the altered mood due to conflicts tend to generate even more tension, leading to conflicting situations.
For HR, in addition to having to play the role of “putting out fires”, this also reflects an increase in turnover, harming the retaining talent.
We recommend that you download the free e-book Retention of Talents. Answer the form and receive:
On the other hand, when properly mediated, conflict management can have very positive impacts on the corporate environment.
Conflict resolution requires leaving the comfort zone and looking for new solutions through creativity and reasoning ability.
It is no wonder that many recruitment and selection processes use simulations of conflict situations to test candidates' problem-solving and resilience capabilities.
How to prevent negative conflicts
As we showed earlier, conflict situations in companies can have both positive and negative impacts, depending on the nature of the conflict and how it is mediated.
In addition to mediation strategies, it is important that HR also work with conflict management from the point of view of precaution, taking preventive measures on a daily basis.
Some effective conflict prevention strategies are:
- regular meetings;
- good feedback policies;
- open communication;
- consistency of the company itself with its values;
- positive leadership;
- employees engaged and appropriate to the organizational culture;
- moments of interaction and leisure;
- cultivation of empathy and healthy bonds between teams.
All of these measures contribute to the maintenance of a organizational climate harmonic, preventing conflict situations from taking on large proportions and avoiding possible disagreements within the company.
In addition to driving possible positive changes in the company, the existence of conflicts, in itself, can be seen as something positive. They demonstrate an environment of diversity, open to people with different mindsets and points of view.
With a good conflict management strategy, it is possible to make everyday business life more enriching and creative, without disharmony or damage to the organizational climate.
And if you liked today's content and want more tips on how to maintain harmony between the company's teams, take the time to read another post on the subject: Organizational weather research: how to make?
Meet HR Consultant UK, a Human Resources platform, which will transform the way your company manages people.
With our system you will:
- reduce the time in your employee dismissal admission processes;
- have a clearer and safer process;
- avoid penalties, fines or any risk related to legal issues and information management of the company.
THE HR Consultant UK it is the only one that delivers an incredible experience and still solves the real problem that the customer has. Talk to an expert and find out how to reduce your HR costs by 30%.