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Managing Employee Conflict

Employee Conflict Happens. Have you ever put off talking to an employee about their poor performance because you wanted to avoid the confrontation?

Employee Conflict is real and managing it can be really tough to deal with. It can be very challenging to give bad news to employees but avoidance only creates stress on us (maybe our customers) and can bring the company growth to a screeching halt! Well, as they say, it is time to put your big girl/boy pants on and step into the employee conflict for the sake of the business and sometimes your own health and well-being!

Let’s Face it – Employee Conflict Happens

Here are some things to remember as you walk into the conflict:

  1. We can only control how we react to employee conflict, we can’t control someone else’s emotions.  Calm down and breathe. Make sure your voice is calming and the voice and body language match.
  1. It helps to pause the conservation. Slow it down and give them (and you) an opportunity to collect themselves and get control of their emotions. Pausing also gives you time to count to 10 or 25 if necessary.
  1. You might try saying, “I can see you are upset by what you have heard here, it was not my intent to upset you but it is important for you to improve your performance and sometimes that can only be done by getting some honest feedback and that is what I am trying to do here.”
  1. Document the interaction. Document the points you made in the meeting and the reaction of the employee. Grab all the details here, they will matter later if the problems persist or escalate. Don’t forget the DATE!
  1. Be consistent with all employees in the same situations. When you’re considering how to react to a situation, take into consideration how similar situations have been handled. Consider the employee’s length of employment and previous performance.
  1. Maintain confidentiality!! Don’t talk with any of the employees peers or direct reports about what happened.
Filed Under: HR

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