Conflict Management In Work Teams Research Paper Examples
Approaches for human resource and line managers in managing conflicts in work teams 3
Participative approach 6
Examination of team relationships 7
Approaches for top management 11
Business operations are based on effective teamwork that focuses on ensuring that plausible outcomes within the performance of the diverse tasks. However, the notion of conflicts in teams has become an aspect of concern. As such, the impact of conflicts within a team results into implausible performance within the organization. Thus, it is imperative that effective management of conflicts in teams prevails. This paper focuses on evaluation of conflicts in teams through laying forth proper solutions for the organization. The diverse solutions towards conflict management entails the inculcation of participate approach, communication and focus on clear cut procedures in conflict management in work teams.
Conflict management in work teams has become a highly challenging prospect for the top management. As such, the number of individuals within a team that have been in disputes has been on the rise as per diverse pundits. Accordingly, the number of claims emanating from the awareness of employees regarding employment rights is also a concern. Thus, the extensive legal awareness coupled with a multi-cultural interaction among individuals from diverse regions has led to the increasing conflicts within the team. Hence, it has become imperative that the human resource managers, line managers and the top management invest into diverse approaches towards handling conflicts in work teams. Thus, this paper will examine the diverse approaches that human resource, line managers and top management can inculcate towards effective conflict management in work teams.
Approaches for human resource and line managers in managing conflicts in work teams
First and foremost, human resource managers coupled with line managers have a more close contact with the employees in work teams. As such, the dual managers have the knowledge and skills in intervening on the evident conflicts at their early stage. Intervention denotes the inculcation of proper approaches to nip the conflicts within the team prior to escalation (Iqbal 2011). As the closest managers to the employees within the organization it is imperative to take a more in-depth analysis of the evident conflicts to ensure plausible outcomes. Thus, the diverse strategic approaches include:
Hasty intervention in the cases of conflict in teams
The two managers should inculcate sensitivity in the instance that bickering and tensing starts within a team. As close individuals within the organization that participate in the monitoring of the teams, they should be ready to step in and incorporate a more quiet approach in having a word with the individuals involved. As such, the HR and Line managers should inform the individuals involved that lively interaction is allowed within the organization and it is imperative that mutual respect is nurtured both in the organization and within the team. As such, the parties involved should be informed that their behavior should be within a given standards. HR and Line managers have noted the plausible behavioral standards that individuals should meet in order for the individuals to comprehend what are unacceptable within the organization (Stredwick 2013). It is also highly advisable that HR and Line managers conform to the standards set in regards to behavior to ensure that the employees take them seriously.
Taking action or dealing with the conflict within a direct mandate
Undertaking action towards management of conflict in work teams usually appears daunting for some HR and Line managers. Nonetheless, tackling conflicts within a head on mandate forms a core part of the roles and responsibilities of the managers. In the instance that HR and Line managers ignore the unpalatable behavior in work teams, problems are bound to increase till disciplinary process has to be inculcated which will be harder for proper and successful resolution. Admittedly, HR and Line managers should comprehend that among the most potential sources of conflicts in work teams include:
Slack in attendance and time keeping
Bullying behavior or harassment within the team
Alcohol or drug problems
Any form of discriminatory behavior in the team
On the other hand, the less obvious causes of conflicts include:
Individuals taking credit for other team member’s work
Talking about individuals in team meetings
Not inviting individuals to team social meetings
Poor personal hygiene
Thus, HR and Line managers should not entertain any form of ignorance in regards to the underlying tensions among individuals within the team. It is highly critical that HR and Line managers inculcate regular face to face conversations coupled with catch ups with the individuals that handle. Furthermore, the HR and Line managers should undertake proactive and informal discussion with individuals within the team in the instance that they perceive that a problem is brewing. The evident conflicts at work are negatively impactful and result into slack in performance among employees in the organization (Iqbal 2011).
Safeguarding employees through removal from conflicting teams or situations
HR and Line managers must also comprehend what action to undertake in the instance that conflicts result into disagreements. In the instance that an individual within team losses his or her temper, then it is crucial that they are removed from the team or away from the individual that he is in conflict with. In the instance that the removal of an individual from a team and separation from the conflicting individual does not prevail, fighting may result. In the instance that the disputing parties are separated, the prospect of calmer and a highly rational conversation is bound to prevail among the conflicting parties (Mercer & Wyman 2010).
Removal of the disruptive team member if necessary
In the minor instances whereby there are personal clashes that are daunting to resolve and continue being a source of tension, it is imperative for the HR and Line managers to take a more harsh approach. The particular member of the given team that perpetually causes tension among the team members should be a source of proper evaluation. The HR and Line managers should take into consideration whether there is an avenue for moving the team member to a different role within the team or completely removal (Iqbal 2011). However, it is imperative to undertake proper consultations with the team members in the instance that changes in management prevail. However, in the instance that the individual’s behavior is consistent and disruptive even after attempts to solve the conflict, it is advisable to set up a disciplinary meeting to take more stern approach. The HR and Line managers should issue the individual an ultimatum through setting up the standards and behavior that need to be followed. Possible dismissal in the instance that the disciplinary procedure does not bear plausible fruits should be undertaken. Undertaking a more comprehensive approach in recognizing the futility of the informal and formal approaches should warrant dismissal of the individual from the team or the organization.
Inculcation of effective monitoring and follow ups after resolution
It is highly tempting for the HR and Line managers to assume and hope that in the instance that conflicts are resolved, no further grievances are bound to prevail. However, in regards to the diverse pundits, it is not usually the case. From the analysis of the diverse pundits, majority of the cases result into one or both parties still feeling aggrieved within a greater or minimum extent (Halldorsson 2011). Thus, is highly imperative that HR and Line managers maintain regular communication or conversations within both formal and informal mandate. The formal or informal discussions should be focused on finding out whether or not the conflict has been completely resolved. The potential danger of old conflicts is their re-occurrence and the evident slow build up due to the evident resentment or animosity that already exists. Therefore, it is imperative that HR and Line managers inculcate what Iqbal (2011) terms as the “temperature checks” via the inculcation of communication. Investment into the monitoring approach of the employees is highly advisable since it generates effective management and growth of plausible team centric relationships among the conflicting individuals.
HR and Line managers can incorporate the official process in conflict management
As aforesaid, a rapid approach in handling the conflicts among individuals in a team is highly effective however, in the instance that the evident conflicts are against the business codes of conduct; a more official approach should be undertaken. The setting up of a disciplinary process is highly advisable to determine whether the parties should be dismissed from the organization or not (Halldorsson 2011).
Communication of the procedures and policy mandates available for each employee within the team
HR and Line managers should focus on ensuring that all individuals within a team comprehend the formal disciplinary steps or procedures that are available within the organization. Additionally, HR and Line managers should ensure that they emphasis on informal handling of the conflicts where possible (Halldorsson 2011). The encouragement of the employees to undertake informal analysis of the conflicts is advisable since it develops independence among the employees in resolving of the evident conflicts.
Inculcation of all steps and procedures available in investigation of incidents
In the instance that serious incidents prevail, for example alleged harassment, it is imperative that proper and serious approaches in handling with the conflicting issues prevails. Any form evident within a team that emanates from misconduct should be seriously investigated and handled using a forma disciplinary and grievance process. The HR and Line managers should be highly aware and wary of the second guessing of results of the investigation undertaken. In numerous cases, diffusion can be effectively done through early intervention by HR and Line managers. Nonetheless, there are few instances that the blowing up of conflicts with minimal warning retails due to other issues such as depression or stress within the social scene (Mercer & Wyman 2010). Thus, despite the evident source of conflicts, it is imperative that in-depth investigation prevails to ensure that resentment does not emanate after the disciplinary process.
Use of official processes to set example on how the HR and Line managers take complaints seriously
In the instance that HR and Line managers use proper official disciplinary process and grievance procedure, reassurance among team members is bound to be evident. Hence, through the inculcation of proper procedures, trust and confidence into the conflict management process is bound to ensure consistency in performance and reporting of any conflicts. Teams that are based on effective communication and trust into the official disciplinary process is bound to catapult the performance of the team.
Escalating conflicts or issues should be reported to top management
In few cases within the work teams, HR and Line managers may cause the conflict. Thus, it is appropriate or advisable that the top management is involved in the formal disciplinary process. Involvement of the top management in the disciplinary process is plausible since it will result into objectivity in the conflict resolution process (Halldorsson 2011). HR and Line managers should be accessible to the top managers who are significant for giving advice or third party opinion on a given issue.
The inculcation of the participative approach in the management of conflicts in teams entails a more first-hand approach among the HR and Line managers in the team operations and dynamics. As such, the main participative tactics that the HR and Line managers can inculcate include:
Being the mediator in conflicts in teams
It is imperative that HR and Line managers have facets of both formal and informal mediation skills to enable them to step in and undertake initiatives towards resolving the conflicts prior to escalation. HR and Line managers can assist individuals in conflicting situations to identify the root of their disagreements and the evident solutions to mitigate the disagreements and move forward. As such, through laying forth the facts of the conflicts, resolution of the matter within a prepared mandate is bound to be evident (Kumar 2012).
Conversing with each individual
In the first instances of conflicts, it is imperative for HR and Line managers to understand that each party is aggrieved and implausible outcomes may progress in the instance that they are face to face. Through separating the parties, the HR and Line managers should be able to converse and comprehend the issues at hand. Furthermore, the HR and Line managers can incorporate the mediation skills in evaluating the root cause and the evident solutions to the conflicts within the team (Halldorsson 2011).
Bringing both the parties together to converse
In the instance that the HR and Line managers exude clarity in comprehension of the problem from the diverse parties, it is advisable that he or she brings together the warring parties. Through bringing both parties, HR and Line managers act as the objective broker. An objective broker since HR and Line managers will be critical in assisting the employees to come to a common ground. The HR and Line managers should ensure that they do not sway to one side in the analysis of the conflicts. HR and Line managers should only provide an assisting hand in the management of the disputes among the parties.
Maintenance of neutrality in handing complaints from both parties
In the instance that the informal approaches incorporated to not yield plausible outcomes, and further aggravation peaks, it is highly imperative that the HR and Line managers do not take sides. It is imperative that the HR and Line managers do not take sides due to the implausible or stalling outcomes of conflict management emanate. As such, taking sides does not assist in successful resolution and generates tensions among both parties and the team members in the instance that disciplinary sanction is made.
Gather ideas or opinions on the ways to address the issue within the team
In the instances that here are disputes that are affecting the whole team, HR and Line managers can assist in finding solutions. Participating in finding solutions should denote participating in team discussions or teams. As such, the barnstorming meetings and discussions should be absent of pointing hands. HR and Line managers can also incorporate the individualised approach in conversing with the team members to comprehend what is the source of the conflict (Mercer & Wyman 2010). Most imperatively, the HR and Line managers should participate in regular discussions with the team members to generate effective changes.
Examination of team relationships
Maintenance of awareness of the tension and keeping it as low as possible
Within any team, there are disagreements that emanate from time to time. However, the HR and Line managers should be aware of the symptoms or signs that serious disputes are developing. HR and Line managers should also maintain awareness that disparity in personalities result into conflicts in diverse ways. Some individuals exude their annoyance rapidly and openly. As a clear example, some individuals immediately communicate their displeasure in working within the organization while others take a more laid back approach and resurface their anguish after some time (Kumar 2012). Thus, the managers should be able to analyses effectively the disparities in behavior and attributes among the employees in the teams. The HR and Line managers should ensure that they generate effective ways in which they can have regular communication to assist them in picking up on issues that have been festering beneath the team surface.
Quickly picking up on squabbles before they result into conflicts
Majority of the conflicts commence from innocuous disagreements among the employees that usually appear as forgotten or resolved. However, there are squabbles that cur on a regular mandate and the HR and Line managers should intervene and converse with the individuals concerned regarding what is going on and how mitigation of the problem will prevail.
Accepting or acknowledging that the team member is causing stress to others
In most instances, it only takes one individual to cause mayhem or disharmony within the team due to their negative behavior. As such, the clear behaviors that can generate stress include:
Individual being over critical
Individuals exuding short temper
Team member taking out personal problems at home on the team members
Making negative personal remarks
HR and Line managers should be ready to step in and converse to their individual team members as soon as it is obvious they are generating problems. In most instances, the team members may be unaware of their behavioral impact on the others. A more quiet approach in mitigating of the issues is imperative as the HR and Line managers. However, in the instance that the initiatives do not bear fruits, it is advisable that removal of the individual from the team is a proper resolve (Kumar 2012).
Maintenance of professionalism
Within the operational mandate, it is imperative that HR and Line managers maintain professionalism in handling conflicts in teams. As such, compliance to the evident policy statements and procedures within the organization is imperative for plausible outcomes. In the social situations, it is imperative that HR and Line managers do not show favoritism (Kumar 2012). The prospect of favoritism is highly impactful on employee morale. Thus the inculcation of a more neutral approach in socializing with team members is highly important. Employees that view the notion of favoritism in most instances underperform and may result into further disagreement among the employees.
Maintenance of clarity regarding the expectations of team conduct
Additional to dictating the behaviors that are not tolerated, HR and Line managers should demonstrate what entails positive behavior. Through demonstration of the plausible behavior, employees within the organization will conform or aspire to behave within the organizational performance mandate. HR and Line managers inspire the employees to perform effectively among each other, with their customers, the public and the customers.
Non-tolerance of backbiting in teams
HR and Line managers should intervene towards preventing employees from negative talks about each other in the team or within the department. HR and Line managers ignoring the behavior will result into the gradual growth of resentment among employees. Furthermore, the notion of cliques developing is bound to emerge. Resentment and cliques developing is negatively impactful on the performance of employees. HR and Line managers should ensure that in the instance that there is a genuine problem; effective handling or tackling it prevails through involvement of the parties coupled with the team. Inculcation of the team in tackling the evident issue at hand is imperative towards ensuring a more open environment for the management of conflicts (Storey 2009). An open environment in conflict management among employees is advisable since it generates an avenue of harmony in tackling of the issues at hand.
Exuding little or no interest in office politics
Office gossip or polities are a proper source of disputes within a team. Moreover, the inculcation of gossiping among team members results into anxiety, uncertainty and resentment among the team members. A certain degree of gossip is inevitable within an organization and should not cause resentment or any other problem in the team. However, HR and Line managers should avoid participating in office gossip. As such, in the instance that the office gossips become malicious, it is imperative that HR and Line managers intervene and clearly reveal those individuals that are spreading unsubstantiated rumors. Apart from revealing the individuals, it is imperative that the HR and Line managers dictate the evident procedures and disciplinary outcomes in the instance that the individual does not cease. HR and Line managers that exude an implausible reputation of office gossip are unlikely to be trusted and will not be viewed as individuals that employees can go to and discuss any home or work issue that is impacting on them.
HR and Line managers exuding integrity
If HR and Line managers should generate a working relationship with the employees within the team, it is imperative that they exude mutual respect and trust. Hence, cultivation of trust and respect among employees should emanate from the HR and Line managers ensuring that they do not discuss private issues with other individuals and maintain confidentiality. Team members that trust their HR and Line managers are more likely to converse with them and maintain openness regarding the issues that are impacting or affecting them. Thus, through openness, investment into mutual trust and respect, HR and Line managers will ensure that they have an informational competency regarding the issues that are affecting the individuals within the team (Storey 2009). As a clear example, individuals who are being affected by a drinking or drug problem are highly likely to open up and converse with the HR and Line managers whom they trust and feel confident being around them. HR and Line managers that get to know the team members exude awareness of issues at hand and are more likely to converse frankly with each other regarding the problems.
Ensuring equal treatment of team members
HR and Line managers that are not even handed in tackling team members will highly struggle in building effective working relationships that are based on mutual respect. Exuding any sign of taking sides further escalates conflicts among the team members. Managers that exude failure in treating all the employees with similar respect and importance result into being vulnerable to being accused of discrimination.
Self-report quiz for the HR and Line managers
HR and Line managers should incorporate an individually construed assessment quiz that focuses on identification of the approaches that can be used in the management of conflicts and the areas that require further enhancement. Thus, as a clear example of a question that an individual should pose to self, the HR and Line managers should examine their development needs. Setting up an effective score of their performance and the various facets that thy failed in evaluating the conflict among the employees is bound to ensure proper enhancement in the future in regards to conflict management.
Thus, from the above approaches that the HR and Line managers can incorporate, a clear summary of the approaches is as follows:
Approaches for top management
The top management plays a pivotal role in the running of organizational operations. As such, through top management, effective policy statement and implementation is bound to prevail hence, impacts on the employee performance mandate. However, in the instance that the HR and Line managers are not performing plausibly in handling conflicts in work teams, it is imperative that the top management plays a role in mitigating the issues at hand. Thus, the various approaches that the top management can inculcate in managing conflicts at work teams include:
Identification of the performance issue
The top management is mainly concerned about the performance of the holistic organization. Investment into team work is a clear approach towards ensuring heightened performance among the employees. However, in the instance that the performance levels do not meet the targets set, it is imperative that the management undertake a more inclusive approach in finding out the aspect of concern within the teams. Thus, the identification of performance issue entails looking at the most plausible reasons for slack in performance such as employee issues, systems, training or equipment. An in-depth analysis of the issues at hand is imperative since the organization can lay forth the most plausible investment of resources to tackle the issue at hand.
Seeking third party views of the team or from the HR and Line managers
Top management should denote an on-ground approach in the analysis of the issues at hand. Thus, as the top manager, it is highly advisable that conversations with the team members and the subordinate managers prevail. As such, top management participating in the conversations or discussions with the teams is an effective way towards finding out the issue at hand among the team members.
Agreeing to setting of new standards of performance with the team members
As aforesaid, the top management plays a pivotal role in the formulation of operational polices. Thus, the concept of bullying among the managers through setting of standards without consultations with the employees is bound to result to further escalation of conflicts. Hence, in setting up of the standards, consultative discussions and meeting should prevail between the top management and the employees. As such, the inculcation of inclusive meeting is bound to ensure that the employees accept and conform to the operational standards set.
Conformity to the method or approaches to auditing team performance
The top management is concerned about the performance of the organization. Thus, the process of monitoring, auditing and evaluating the team performance is defendant on effective policy statement and consultations. Hence, as a proper manager, it is imperative that the team members are involved in the setting of operational standards and the auditing approach that the organization should inculcate. Team members that know of the standards set and the auditing approach will ensure that they perform effectively.
Incorporating an effective performance-improvement policy
Opportunities should be undertaken in the identification of the individuals that are slacking in performance. Through effective communication between the HR and Line managers and the team members, effective reporting to the top management on the issues at hand is bound to prevail. An effective reporting of the issues at hand will generate plausible information pertaining to the individuals that are slacking in performance. Hence, the necessary approaches will be undertaken towards improvement of both individual and team performance (Stredwick 2013).
Open top down communication in an organization is significant since it generates employees who are confident and feel equally treated by the top management. Hence, as the top management, it is imperative that free flow of information prevails. Through open communication, real time information will be available hence catapulting performance of employees.
Effective management of conflicts within a team is imperative towards successful outcomes. The inculcation of HR, Line and top management is imperative towards successful mitigation of the conflicts in work teams. From the above evident solutions to conflict management, it is clear that a holistic approach in management of conflicts in teams is imperative for plausible outcomes.
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