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16 Oct 2015

5 Essential Steps for Resolving Employee Relations Conflicts

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Conflict is never pretty, especially when it happens in the workplace. While you expect the occasional complaint filed by a hotel guest, dealing with employee relations conflicts are a whole other headache level. As the manager, you have to see and work with these arguing people every day. In time, if not dealt with properly, you can come to dread getting up in the mornings to go to work.

Whether the conflicts are with other employees or with the management, the issues shouldn’t hamper work productivity or the employees’ efforts to move ahead in their careers in the hotel industry. Resolve the issues efficiently by using these 5 essential tips.

1: Never wait it out.

Often you may think that by giving you and/or the employees involved time, each will get over whatever issues they have in their working relationship. Unfortunately, this tactic often causes the development of deep-seated anger and resentment. In time, they can lash out at people verbally or physically. This anger can also manifest in work procedures. The moment there is a conflict between two employees, address it before the problem escalates.

2: Identify the problem.

You may not even realize what it is that caused the conflict. It could have been some action another employee took or an innocent comment you made that caused the other employee to be upset. Sit down and ask them questions such as:

  • Why they are upset?
  • What happened to create the conflict?
  • Who were all the people involved in the conflict?

These questions will give you more information on the problems that need to be resolved. It will also allow you to gather other people who may be involved in the problem so everyone can talk through their feelings and individual perspectives.

3: Come up with beneficial solutions.

Before suggesting possible solutions to the conflict, ask for each person’s opinion on how they want to resolve the problem. Sometimes, simply airing out the problems and communicating their concerns can smooth over hurt feelings. Take into consideration their solutions. Then figure out the right course of action that benefits all employees involved while following company policies.

4: Involve higher management for conflict solutions.

Sometimes no resolution can be reached between employees, or one employee will not be satisfied by your answer and wish to take the matter to a higher management level. After holding a meeting with the employees, you can inform them of the formal procedures in filing a written complaint with the human resources department or department head. As the manager, you will have to include a report about your response to the situation along with the employee’s formal complaint.

5: Outline your action plans to prevent further employee relation conflicts.

Once an agreement is made and accepted by the employees, you want to develop a plan of action to prevent the same problems from happening in the future. Retrain all employees on the company policies of work behavior and positive interactions during an employee meeting. You want every person to understand your management position on conflicts to create a better work environment.

Not every employee conflict will be easy or quick to resolve. Remain calm and professional throughout the entire issue. Lead by example and show your leadership throughout the situation to ease the worries that other employees will have so they can continue to be productive as you handle the issue.

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