Conflicts at work can flare up out the most minor of incidents. It could be that one employee thought a colleague had stolen their lunch from the office fridge. Or maybe an administrator thought their boss was criticizing their dress-sense. Sometimes it can result from more serious issues of bullying. If the issue is not addressed then the dispute can grow leading to a lack of productivity and an unpleasant atmosphere in the office that can affect the rest of the team. It could also lead to an employee raising a formal grievance or even deciding to leave the firm and take the employer to a tribunal.
So what you can do to avoid the situation? Addressing the situation early is always helpful. You can start by speaking to the individuals concerned to find out what the problem is and to look for a solution. However, there will be times when it is useful to get a third party in to assist – someone who is independent and not involved in the day-to-day situation. An accredited mediator can help individuals to resolve conflicts at work. The mediator listens carefully to the participants and helps them to agree a way forward. The mediator doesn’t impose their views or make decisions on who is right or wrong. The process is forward looking and works with the individuals involved to decide and agree how they can work together in the future.