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Resolving Conflict at Work

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Managing conflict at work is a continual challenge for Employers. While conflict is a normal part of workplace the challenges lies in how to effectively resolve it. Conflict at work takes many forms. It may be that two Employees simply don’t get on; or that an Employee has a grievance against their Line Manager.

Regardless of the cause of conflict, it is vital to have effective mechanisms in place so that it can be managed appropriately and prevent conflict leading to external legal claims. In 2011, in Ireland, the number of individual employment disputes that resulted in employment equality applications increased to 1,179 from 821 in the previous year.  Some 9,206 referrals were received by the Rights Commissioner Service in 2011 compared to 15,761 referrals for Hearing in 2010.

Effective measures for resolving conflict at work include: 

1.    Training and equipping managers with the necessary skills and confidence

Successive studies conducted by the CIPD over the last number of years into managing conflict at work emphasise the importance of Line Managers having the knowledge, skills and confidence to be able to intervene at an early stage and nip disputes in the bud before they escalate or become more formal in nature. In instances where conflict does occur between individuals, a Line Manager can seek to: