Guide

Managing conflict

Preventing conflict

To minimise and prevent conflict in the workplace, you should try to learn as much as you can about why conflicts occur and develop processes to help you address them. Common action points that employers should consider are:

  • developing a strategy for managing conflict with managers, employees and your representatives
  • having sound policies and procedures in place
  • explaining plans for change and plans for training to managers and employees to make everyone feel involved
  • listening and consulting with employees on decision-making - see inform and consult your employees
  • rewarding fairly with pay or bonus schemes - see implement staff incentive schemes
  • ensuring work safety and managing the welfare of your staff
  • ensuring that managers are properly trained and able to handle management responsibilities

You can also improve your working environment and develop interpersonal relationships by:

  • valuing employees and thinking about the business culture of the workplace
  • treating people fairly
  • communicating the law on harassment and discrimination
  • encouraging initiative
  • balancing employees personal and business needs
  • asking Investors In People to assess your business and promote training and communication - see Investors in People: the Standard for people management.

It is also worth considering:

  • regularly giving out employee feedback forms or questionnaires
  • keeping regular channels of communication open
  • knowing your employees' different personalities

See encourage feedback and ideas from employees.

Equality policies

Having a clear equality policy in your workplace may help to prevent feelings of unfair treatment, and so prevent conflict. Read more on equality and diversity workplace policies.