Getting Real With Roses

Navigating the People Element at Work

Having a bad day at work is unfortunate, but it eventually happens to all of us. Having bad weeks, months or even years at work is something altogether different. If youíre involved in a work-conflict situation, it can easily feel like the issue overshadows your entire life. So, whatís the best way to deal with a conflict?

The Human Element

Itís unfortunate but conflict in the workplace is bound to happen. A big reason for this is varied personalities who bring a mix of their skills, personalities and personal baggage. Often times, these issue boil under the surface before coming to light. A delay in sharing the issue with someone else can be a point of pride for some or not knowing whom to turn to. For example, if an employee is on a contract-to-hire position, they might not feel comfortable voicing their concerns in an environment where they are new and where they hope to be hired on as a full-time employee.

Acknowledge and Share

In these cases, itís smart for a contract worker to reach out to the hiring agency and let them know things are not going as planned. If this communication doesnít take place in a timely matter, thereís potential for the employee to leave no longer wanting to work for the company. This is a loss for the employee as well as the employer. If the conflict isnít mentioned, the problem could continue, affecting other employees at the company and creating a workplace that no one wants to be a part of.

Open Communication

  1. Acknowledge It Ė Blame it on change. Whether itís a lack of change in the environment or an excess of change, strong feelings flare when things are in flux.
  2. Out the Issue Ė One of the worst ways to handle conflict is to ignore it. If the other party is always waiting for someone else to start the discussion or to admit wrongdoing, it can only result in a stalemate and more discomfort for all involved.
  3. Ask the Question Ė In some cases, the way someone does things is more habit than an attempt to create conflict. Knowing why someone does something can provide insight into other actions. Resist the desire to dance around the conflict and nicely ask the question already.
  4. Banish the Silos Ė The business world is often better at sequestering information than it is in sharing. If someone feels important information is being withheld, especially if it relates to getting work done, conflict can occur. Sharing the information is directly related to knowing and understanding the why.

Reasons for Resolution

Ignoring conflict in the workplace places everyone at a loss. Employees feel the issue is not being acknowledged and employers donít understand why the workplace is filled with conflict. Talking about the problem could include some initial discomfort, but failing to address the conflict allows it to grow, creating a pool of dissatisfied employees and a potentially toxic workplace. Even if a candidate decides not to stay in the role, a workplace can still take the necessary steps to resolve the issue before itís too late for anyone else. Donít take the chance on losing another great worker. Ask the uncomfortable questions now.

This article is brought to you by Staffing Kansas City, a full-service Kansas City employment agency that provides contract-to-hire, direct hire and temporary employment placement services.