Even if your business picked up the most suitable people, conflict is expected and natural in any industry. It is said that business managers spend 40% of their time and HR folks spend 25 to 60 percent managing disputes and conflicts.
In a small business, conflicts stare in your face since fewer people and smaller spaces.
If a small business manager is clueless or has no prior experience in conflict management, he/she can follow the most basic principles suggested by experts to resolve conflicts.
Conflict is an extreme human reaction, and hence it cannot be handled through a planned format. However, a small business can enforce strategy to handle conflicts and guide issue resolution initially, and avoid disputes. HR can enable an online help desk to collect and address various employee issues and leave no space for more troubles.
Conflicts between two people also have damaging effects on the overall work environment. Include a legend in the HR policies about using the most impersonal and polite language in the work premises. Discourage people to use abusive language in the office environment by penalizing and set a great example of honest communication.
While resolving a conflict, do not leave room for ambiguity. Understand that disputes arising out of misunderstandings. HR or mediator or manager can hear both the parties before arriving at a pact. They should also have a clear understanding of the next set of instructions or the best available solution.
While managing a conflict, make sure to understand each person's preferences. Several times, you will realize that a specific employee did something in the interest of a person, business, or customer. So address the intention as much as the act.
Just a positive approach towards conflicts can result in the formulation of effective strategies.