HR consultant and recruitment professional, Lyndsey McLaughlin, explains why workplace conflict resolution training is so important.
What is workplace conflict?
There is bound to be conflict when you recruit a range of different personalities. Conflict occurs for many reasons in the workplace. It can sometimes happen due to people having different working styles. For example, someone may like to work independently on their schedule, while another person may prefer to work to a set routine and structure. Leadership style has to match up, otherwise it can cause conflict. For instance, if a leader is leading someone who likes to work in a laid-back, relaxed manner with a very technical, strict style, there is bound to be conflict. Therefore, managers must be able to deal with this conflict and receive conflict resolution training. Business owners or HR consulting firms often have to ensure managers are adequately trained in conflict resolution.
The Effects of Conflict in the Workplace
There is no underestimating the effects of conflict in the workplace, especially when left unresolved. When conflict is apparent in a workplace, it can lead to low morale, high absenteeism, and a lack of motivation. For instance, if an individual is working hard and likes to work in a relaxed manner, but their leader is trying to make them work in a set routine, it is bound to lead them to feel disengaged. When these feelings are left to rot over a long period, it can lead to absenteeism and, finally, to employees leaving the company altogether. Employers can't afford to leave issues unresolved when job vacancies are at a record high of over 1 million. They can't afford to lose good talent from the business.
Conflict Resolution Training – and Why it is Important
Several types of conflict can occur at work, and different styles can work simultaneously. It can be challenging, especially in a small team, but skilfully managing this conflict in the workplace is essential. Leadership conflict is one of the most common. It occurs when leaders are not trained to handle individuals in different ways, depending on their needs. As mentioned above, some employees prefer a routine and to be regimental in their work, whilst others prefer a more relaxed approach. It is paramount for managers to be aware of this, which is where conflict training can be helpful. If there are creative conflicts in the workplace, it can lead to individuals feeling that their ideas are being ignored. With conflict resolution training, managers can learn how to ensure that each individual has responsibility for a project and the freedom to express their individuality. Within a team, you will have individuals with differing work styles, and it is crucial to managing this to work towards a common goal. For example, some individuals might want to work on their initiative at their speed, while others prefer to collaborate with team members constantly. Neither approach is right or wrong; they are just different. Each person within the business should be free to work in the way that suits them as long as they achieve the correct output standard. There should always be respect for how people want to work, and should not force work styles, otherwise, it will lead to people leaving. Conflict training will help ensure you can manage different types of work adequately for the business's good. In addition, there can simply be personality clashes. When people have very different backgrounds, it can be beneficial but can also cause conflict. Conflict training provided by HR consulting firms and business owners can help managers to guide their employees in the benefits of their backgrounds and perhaps to find some common ground.
How to Effectively Run Conflict Resolution Training
Conflict resolution training can enable managers to deal with conflict calmly but assertively. It can help ensure employees feel valued and understood and that their voices are heard. Conflict resolution training will help managers to recognise conflict, even if it is not discussed directly with them, and take steps to address the situation. Conflict resolution training will help managers deal with conflicting situations and, consequently, to retain talented employees.
Training is always beneficial in the workplace. At HR Toolkit, you can find our online-training product to help HR consulting firms and business owners provide conflict resolution training to their managers. There is also a range of other training courses that can help improve your workforce's performance, including employee management and first aid.
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Written by Lyndsey McLaughlin
Lyndsey McLaughlin is a CIPD qualified HR consultant and recruitment professional who specialises in HR advice and writing about a range of business and staff management topics for employers and managers.