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Conflict Resolution in the Workplace



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Keeping A Happy Workplace

As much as we wish to avoid employee conflicts, they do arise, and when they do, it’s your HR manager’s duty to help resolve the issue. One easy way to handle employee conflicts is to establish an effective employee relationship strategy. Such a strategy will contain specific steps for ensuring the overall well-being of employees, while also ensuring that employees have a safe work environment in which to address conflict, free from harassment and discrimination. Conflict resolution can be a very sensitive matter, so it’s best to ensure that your HR managers are well-trained in this area.

What follows are some examples of different types of employee conflicts and what you can do to resolve them:

Employee Complaints

Employee complaints consist of allegations of unfair treatment, unfavorable working conditions, and disputes between coworkers or employees and managers. To resolve these types of issues, the HR managers should clearly explain workplace policies, codes of conduct, etc. that apply to the situation and offer a solution or compromise.

Labor Relations

If you have employees who are a part of a labor union, your HR department should act as the liaison between such employees and the labor union. The HR department implements labor relations’ programs, settles labor disputes that could lead to more serious matters (like strikes or litigation), deals with bargaining agreements, and addresses employee matters like contracts, wages and salaries, and benefits and pensions. If a dispute should arise, or union representatives and employers cannot come to an agreement on something, then it’s up to HR to negotiate the terms of resolution.


If an employee should declare discrimination, harassment, or unfair treatment against their employer, such allegations fall under the responsibilities of the HR department. HR should investigate the claim, establish validity, and interpret equal opportunity and anti-discrimination laws to see if the employer is in compliance. HR then offers a remedy to the situation or assists employees with filing formal charges or seeking legal advice.