Preventing Conflict in the Workplace: Managing Back to Office Woes

preventing conflict in the workplace

There’s no denying that the last 2 years have been full of challenges for the workforce, with employees and leadership facing constantly changing rules, guidelines and circumstances on an almost daily basis. With some companies and organizations across Calgary and Edmonton, as well as the rest of Alberta beginning the slow progress of reintegrating into office life after working from home, it’s inevitable that things may be a little tense and less “friendly” than we’re used to.

Managing workplace conflict effectively is a valuable skill for any leadership team, but during times of heightened stress and emotions, it becomes even more vital to have a solid plan in place to navigate rocky waters and guide your team back to harmony safely. At Pivot HR, we’re proud to partner with businesses and organizations across Canada to offer HR support for a wide range of matters, including conflict management and workplace investigations in the case of serious concerns or cultural issues. We know that these difficult times can certainly put a heavy amount of strain on your team and lead to discontent in the office. If you’re facing some developing issues as you return to the office below are a few core tips and practices to keep in mind while getting everyone settled back in.

Self-Awareness and Emotional Intelligence

One of the biggest positive attributes your leadership team can have when it comes to navigating difficult periods is self-awareness and emotional intelligence. Knowing how you’re feeling, how that’s influencing your behaviour, as well as how your employees are doing is a huge asset that can help you defuse conflict before it has a chance to set in. Be aware that everyone is likely experiencing far more heightened emotions than usual right now, and that your leadership team will need to demonstrate patience, empathy and compassion to get your team realigned. Plan ahead, give everyone a chance to breathe and let them know you understand where they’re coming from.

Communicate

Communication is key when it comes to diffusing workplace conflict in general. So often, we misinterpret intentions or words (especially over digital correspondence), leading to a disconnect that can cause problems if we don’t choose to confront the issue head-on. By simply maintaining healthy, respectful, and open communication with one another, your team can avoid the majority of most minor conflicts and grow together instead!

Snuff out Negativity

During times of stress, it’s easy to unwittingly open the door for negativity and let it take root within your business or organization. As one of the most toxic and damaging influences on any workplace culture, negativity is one of the fastest ways to break team morale and lose what you’ve worked so hard to build. Don’t hesitate to (respectfully) call out negative influences and set a standard of positivity in your office culture; your team, and your mental well-being, will thank you!

Don’t Let Things Fester

It can be easy to write off “small” matters as insignificant at the time, but the truth is, where there’s smoke, fire usually follows. Don’t sweep disagreements or confrontations under the rug, and make sure your employees know you’re willing to act as needed.

Take Complaints Seriously

Finally, taking action on complaints isn’t just necessary for company culture, it’s a must when it comes to workplace compliance. If you’re facing serious accusations from your team that involve verbal abuse, sexual harassment, or assault, you are obligated as an employer to conduct a thorough workplace investigation. Partnering with an external HR partner like Pivot HR makes this process simple, fair, and as pain-free as possible. With Pivot HR on your side, you can have peace of mind in knowing that we always have the best interests of your team, the individuals in question, and all relevant regulations at the core of what we do.

Come Back to Office Confidently

Wondering how you can set the ground for success for a successful WFH to office transition? Contact Pivot HR to learn more about our HR support services including conflict management and workplace investigations today!

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