When leaders think about conflict, they often immediately go to the negative experiences they have had. But not all conflict in the workplace is bad. In fact, some conflict, when handled appropriately can actually increase engagement, communication, and creativity in the workplace.

As humans, we naturally avoid conflict which causes resentment, misunderstanding, and miscommunication to grow. These things are not healthy for any relationship, especially in the workplace.

Here are a few suggestions from the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) for helping your workplace handle conflict in a healthy way:

Encourage employees to work out small issues
Particularly for small conflicts, encourage employees to address their issues directly with co-workers rather than always running to a supervisor for assistance. Employee should eb encouraged to think through problems and come up with solutions on their own whenever possible.

Coach employees who need help with conflict resolution
Rather than trying to solve all employee issues, supervisors should coach employees on proper conflict resolution strategies. While this may take some time up-front, it should help to create a workplace where less conflicts are being brought to the supervisor’s attention as employees find resolutions on their own.

Keep an eye out for issues before they boil-over
Supervisors should be watching for potential issues that may arise before they create bigger problems. Getting ahead of these situations and working with employees to come to a resolution can prevent further problems.

Be clear about which issues should be reported to supervisors immediately
Not every problem can or should be resolved by employees themselves. Help employees understand the difference between conflicts they can address on their own and which conflicts that may be the help of t leadership. Some of these include threats or indications of physical violence, harassment, theft, safety concerns, and possession or use of drugs or alcohol.

Addressing conflict in a health way can help your company improve trust communication among employees. If you have questions , please reach out to our HR experts for guidance at humanresources@helpside.com