Conflict Resolution: How To Respond To Employee Complaints

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Job Complaints

Even if you’re an experienced employer who has managed teams for years, it can still be difficult to know how to react when conflicts arise. Whether you have staff members arguing amongst themselves or you have employees who have issues with you or your company, it’s essential to be able to respond in an effective manner. If you’re a business owner looking for ways to prevent and resolve conflict at work, this guide should prove useful.

Preventing conflict

Prevention is always better than cure, so take steps to keep your staff happy. Health and safety should be a priority for every employer. There are legal guidelines in place, which should be applied to minimize the risk of accidents and injuries. You may be looking for ways to save money, but this is not an area where you can afford to cut back. You need to ensure that your business is compliant in order to prevent injuries in the first place and to make sure you’re not liable for accidents that occur as a result of negligence. If a claim is made against you, and you’re not in the wrong, a sub rosa investigation could prove your innocence, but it’s best to avoid getting into this situation in the first place. Carry out regular risk assessments, ensure that you’re familiar with the latest legislation, and offer your staff training, as well as access to safety equipment. More than 137 million working days are lost to illness and injury every year in the US, and focusing on health and safety can help your business become more productive.

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Other issues that may arise include personality clashes and issues between the employer and their employees. If your workforce feels that it is being treated unfairly or staff members are falling out, you need to put out the fire quickly. Every employer should be aware of the legal rights of their employees. Again, if you don’t comply with these laws, you may find yourself on the wrong side of a call from an attorney. To promote cohesion, make sure you’re approachable, encourage your employees to talk to you and promote teamwork. Your employees don’t have to be best buddies, but if everyone gets along, you’re likely to reach your targets much faster.

How to respond

If you can’t prevent conflict, it’s important to be able to address any discrepancies that arise. You’ll have to evaluate each case on an individual basis, as there’s no universal solution, but taking part in training and leadership courses could be beneficial. Listen to what your employees are telling you, hear both sides of the story if two people are involved, and take action swiftly to avoid the situation getting out of hand. If the conflict involves you, and legal action has been threatened, it’s wise to seek advice from a legal expert.

If you run a business, you probably dread encountering disputes between employees or having a conversation that involves an employee threatening to take action against you. In some cases, it’s possible to prevent difficult situations from arising, but if you can’t do this, it’s wise to respond quickly.

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Student @ Advanced Digital Sciences Center, Singapore. Travelled to 30+ countries, passion for basketball.