Not everyone likes to deal with confrontations in the workplace, but as a small business owner, you’re going to be involved with them in one form or another. Whether it is between yourself and an employee or client, or it is between two employees, conflict is going to happen. Being prepared to deal with these common workplace problems is essential to a thriving business.
While it is important to handle confrontations well when they happen, professional employer organizations can help you lay the groundwork to resolve these problems well. If you’re interested in connecting with a PEO to help you with a wide range of HR outsourcing needs, reach out to us at (678) 376-1212. Our highly trained PEO brokers are here to help you find a PEO with the right skills for your business.
Before the Confrontation
Confrontations may happen suddenly, but the underlying conflict isn’t spontaneous. As a business owner, you need to be prepared for conflicts within the workplace. While you can’t, and probably shouldn’t, avoid all confrontations, you can be prepared to handle them beforehand.
Company Policies on Conflicts
Your company should have clear guidelines on acceptable behavior and what steps you expect employees to take to resolve conflicts. This may include maintaining what sort of language is acceptable in the workplace and who employees should turn to in order to get outside help for conflicts. You should want to encourage an environment where employees feel comfortable turning to you or other managers before conflicts boil into confrontations.
Putting your policy on conflict resolution into an employee handbook is a great way to ensure all employees know what to do and who to turn to in order to handle problems. If you’re not sure how to create an employee handbook or what language to include in it, a PEO can help.
Having policies in place to set the procedure for workplace confrontations is an important first step, but it needs to be complemented by the right sorts of actions during the disagreement. Sooner or later, your employees will handle the confrontations the way you do, so it is important you set a good example.
Actively Listen to the Underlying Problem
Many people prefer to avoid confrontations in the workplace, so if an employee or client is coming to you with a conflict, assume that it is a serious matter. The best way to approach this is to be ready to actively listen to what the other person has to say, even if you’re sure you know what they’re coming to talk to you about. Frequently, people will realize the root cause of a problem when they’re freely allowed to talk about their issues.
Let People Cool Down
While you will need to be willing to actively listen to the other party, it is important that they are able to do the same. If things become heated, allow a brief period of separation in order for everybody to relax and come to the table willing to listen and talk civilly. Forcing people to work through problems when they’re still feeling emotional is a recipe to reignite the confrontation and possibly escalate it into a physical confrontation.
Don’t Be Afraid to Have a Third Party Available
Having a neutral party available can be a great tool to smooth out confrontations. Sometimes, you may be able to play this part for intra-employee confrontations or issues between employees and clients. When you are one of the parties in the confrontation, it is a good idea to have someone designated to help resolve these conflicts.
In larger companies, this is one of the functions of an HR department. For smaller companies without an HR department, their PEO may be able to provide a stand-in.
After the Confrontation
Unpleasant as they can be to go through, confrontations can have positive outcomes. If you can help an employee or client deal with a problem that’s been brewing for a while, you will likely find you have a stronger, more productive working relationship. It is entirely possible for innovation to come from workplace confrontations, so be sure to evaluate what happened, what caused it, and how the business can use the situation to grow.
For Small Businesses, PEOs Offer Workplace Confrontation Solutions
The more your company grows, the more likely it is that you’ll be dealing with workplace confrontations. Having the right policies in place is going to be essential, but you may not know how to go about crafting a conflict resolution policy.
PEOs meet many HR outsourcing needs, from drafting employee handbooks to offering payroll solutions. As a PEO broker, NetPEO is here to help your business. We use our national network of partners to find a PEO that offers you only the HR solutions that you need, and at a price that won’t break your budget.
Call (678) 376-1212 or connect with us using the form on this website to speak with one of our PEO brokers today!