One of the biggest causes of disengagement in the workplace is due to a breakdown in trust between an employee and their manager. Dealing with employee disputes is tough, and something managers hope they don’t have to encounter, but like in all things, disagreements can and will occur. The key thing to note is, in the unfortunate instance that there is any form of conflict between employees within an organisation, that the quicker the issues can be dealt with democratically and in a way that leaves all parties satisfied, the quicker the episode can be laid to rest.
If dealt with correctly and successfully, employees can continue to do their jobs with enthusiasm and peace after a disagreement has been resolved. It is easy for good communication skills to be disregarded when it comes to training at management level, but it does need to be emphasised as managers will be the ones who will be at the forefront of a dispute settlement. If management fail to deal with the dispute with compassion and understanding of each party, permanent damage could be caused and employees’ opinions, loyalty and trust could be dramatically reduced causing the organisation’s reputation to be negatively impacted as well as creating a disengaged workforce.
For these reasons, it is imperative that managers are taught to deal with employee disputes efficiently and effectively, so as to avoid reaching the later stage of seeking an alternative dispute resolution such as mediation.
Read the full article in January's HR Grapevine magazine >