Reducing disputes at work
What’s a workplace dispute?
When there is a workplace dispute, it is between employees, managers, or customers. Most workplace conflicts resolve themselves quickly. However, if the situation is continuing or escalates, it is important to intervene.
Four Common Types Of Employment Disputes
1. False Termination Claims
Wrongful termination cases are some of the most emotionally charged employment law disputes. In these cases, employees’ work is often at risk.
2. Wage Disputes
This lawsuit is when an employer is accused not paying workers for their work. This could include not paying overtime, earned tips, or not allowing regular pay breaks. Workers must be paid minimum wage by employers.
3. Discrimination and Harassment Claims
- Federal and state laws protect job seekers and workers from:
- Discrimination, harassment or unfair treatment by managers or co-workers based on a person’s race or religion, gender, national origin or sex (including sex identity or sexual orientation), age, disability, or pregnancy
- Refusal to make reasonable accommodations at work for employees with disabilities or religious beliefs
- Retaliation for an employee who filed a complaint about discrimination in the workplace or assisted with a probe or lawsuit on the subject.
4. Severance Agreements
In return for employees quitting their company, employers may offer certain types of compensation. These types of severance agreements often become the subject of litigation. A lawyer can help you understand the terms of your contract, and any potential issues.
Five Effective Ways To Reduce Workplace Conflict
Office conflicts can lead to a dissatisfying work environment. There are many reasons for conflict, including personality differences. Disputes at work can have a negative impact on business, and will result in a higher turnover rate. It is important to deal with the problem early.
Here are five suggestions to help you avoid or minimise workplace conflict:
Poor communication or lack of communication is often the root cause of disputes. Employees require clear direction. Conflicts often occur when they are not given the right information. Employees need to be clear about their responsibilities, what their job involves, and what they can expect from their employer. Clear and concise communication between employees and those in authority (e.g., a manager, supervisor, etc.) is essential. This will reduce workplace anxiety and conflict. Employees will also be more likely to communicate well with one another if they are taught good communication skills. Employees can avoid many conflicts by being clear about their goals.
2. Do not ignore it
It is best to acknowledge that there is conflict. Even if there isn’t a dispute, tension can still be felt. This type of conflict is not something that can be resolved by itself. Conflict that is not addressed quickly can become more severe. If you are aware of tension, it is important to address it immediately. It will be uncomfortable but it is better to address the problem immediately than trying to resolve it later.
3. You can easily file a formal complaint
Employees should be able to file formal complaints if they need. Employees should have a clear process to file a formal complaint. It should not take more than filling out a form to complain and sending it to the HR Manager for further investigation. This will stop resentment and other complaints from growing.
4. Engage your team
Employee engagement is promoted by creating an environment where everyone feels encouraged to work together. Employees will learn to trust each other and to get to know their strengths and weaknesses. Employees will feel more comfortable with their co-workers if they are engaged.
5. Fair Treatment of All Employees
Although you wouldn’t expect it to be mentioned, employers can show favoritism without realising it. To avoid workplace conflict, employers, managers, supervisors, and employees must be neutral.
Positive Conflict Resolution Steps
- Building Relationships
Conflict resolution can result in happier, more fulfilling relationships. Communication, empathy and emotional awareness are key elements. Conflict resolution techniques are more than just a way to end a conflict. They can also help prevent future problems from happening.
In business relationships, ongoing conflict can hinder the achievement of goals. Often, productivity drops when there are arguments in the workplace. When there is conflict, it can make it difficult to work together or focus on a project. These issues can be resolved at their root to increase efficiency and help you achieve your goals.
- Enhancing Commitment
Once an issue has been resolved, conflict resolution can bring people together. The key element to conflict resolution is working together as a team rather than attacking one another. This is a smart way to increase each party’s commitment and to avoid more defensiveness.
- Generating New Insight
While resolution is important, conflict is essential. People can come up with new solutions when they have different perspectives.