How robust is your organisation’s approach to conflict? We’ve developed a quick checklist to help you find out.
How many of these apply to your organisation?
You know how much conflict at work is costing your team, department or organisation, each year; and whether this figure is rising or falling
Your grievance and disciplinary investigations are undertaken by trained and accredited managers – either inhouse or outsourced
You can access mediation within 10 days of a case emerging either through your internal accredited mediators, or an outsourced mediation provision
You can use mediation as part of your settlement agreements You know when and how to refer a conflict to arbitration
When a conflict emerges but there is no formal complaint, you can implement a neutral assessment of the situation leading to recommendations for action
You have volunteer harassment officers or grievance resolvers; colleagues outside of HR or unions who people can turn to for advice and support when they feel unhappy about a work relationship
Your managers have had training in how to manage conflict early and constructively so can step in and get people in conflict back on track quickly and confidently
Managers know what their rights and responsibilities are in terms of bullying and harassment
You provide support and skills training for managers in getting the best out of your performance management processes
Frontline staff are clear about the behaviours that are required of them in terms of bullying and harassment Staff and managers are given the skills and tools to manage stress in line with HSE standards
All staff have the skills and confidence to raise difficult issues directly with each other before negatives become conflicts
The more you have, the stronger your corporate conflict management approach. If you have more at the top of the list, you have a strong ‘close’ culture – you wait for complaints to go formal before tackling them. You could benefit from using mediation, and giving staff and managers stronger conflict management skills.
More at the bottom mean you invest more in preventing conflict from turning nasty. That’s great; but do you have robust and effective ways of responding to complaints as and when they arise?