Managing Conflict in the Work Place

There are many areas in the workplace where conflict can arise and the reasons for these may not be straightforward.  However the main issues tend to revolve around perceived unfair treatment or a lack of awareness regarding internal structure.  Issues that can cause conflict include;

  • Unfair treatment of an employee
  • Poor man management (or management on the whole)
  • Unclear job specifications / role
  • Inadequate training
  • Poor working conditions or work environment
  • Lack of equal opportunities
  • Bullying and harassment
  • Poor communication

As in life there are typically four responses to any kind of conflict.  These are;

Fight – a reaction in a challenging or aggressive manner.  This could include loss of temper and control or raised voices leading to shouting; Often bringing irrational responses that sometimes aren’t typical of the individual.

Flight – ignoring the problem in the hope it goes away.  Effectively turning a blind eye to what is actually going on.

Passive – withdrawing from the issue at hand.  An employee may become passive after attempting to deal with the problem but feeling the conflict isn’t going to be resolved due to indecision or lack of support.

Facing the problem – a planned approach to deal with the issue in a calm and rational way.

 

Symptoms of conflict

Where it is difficult to spot symptoms of conflict, training in any kind of Conflict Management can help.  TutorCare offer a range of such courses that include Conflict Management that helps with not only the identification of challenging behaviour but also deals with causes and effects in the workplace.  More importantly if you complete our “CONFLICT MANAGEMENT AND CHALLENGING BEHAVIOUR AWARENESS” course you will be able to work towards a calm response to any work related conflict.

With any training you’ll be able to identify symptoms of conflict that include:

Sickness and absence increase:  depression and stress

Productivity decrease: a lack of cohesion creates a decrease in productivity and a general increase in queries and complains where employees fail to co-operate

Behavioural changes: members of staff making derogatory remarks or arranging fewer social events together

Motivational decrease: fewer employees volunteer to take on board new tasks or offer little input at meetings or briefings

By identifying the underlying symptoms you can then work on how to manage conflict.  For individuals this may be as simple as having a quiet word or investigating the problem informally. It may mean utilising internal procedures but more importantly it will mean listening.  Wider issues can be solved by improving the way management communicates and consults with employees.  It can include forming internal working groups to tackle problems as a team or using problem solving techniques to find joint solutions in the workplace.

It may even mean getting outside help.

The key to all of this is not only developing an acute awareness to the working environment but being prepared to listen and adapt accordingly.

TutorCare offers a wide range of training packages that deal with conflict or aggressive behaviour in the workplace.  From office disagreements to handling abusive behaviour in care homes we have a solution that can be uniquely tailored to your needs.

First aid in the workplace – the importance of record keeping

One of the most important parts of first aid in the workplace is record keeping. In fact, it can be just as crucial as sending staff members on a first aid training course or ensuring that first aid kits are fully stocked.

This is because proper record keeping allows a business or organisation to manage health and safety risks in the future. Using the information noted down in a workplace incident book, business owners can monitor how medical emergencies are dealt with and what improvements are needed, such as giving more staff members first aid training.

An incident book can also help when conducting health and safety risk assessments, giving vital information that can help businesses to identify trends and remove or reduce hazards which may lead to medical emergencies.

To ensure you are adhering to good practice with regards to first aid record keeping, ensure your business has an incident book for illness and injury. Each entry into this book should include:

• The name and position of the ill or injured person
• The name and signature of the person dealing with the incident (i.e. the designated first aider)
• The date, time and place the incident occurred
• What happened during the incident, whether first aid was given and what happened afterwards (i.e. the person went to hospital).

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Fire Safety Law and what to expect from a fire safety inspection

Business owners legally have to abide by The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order of 2005 and as a result need to designate a Responsible Person (RP) to co-ordinate things in the event of a fire. They are also responsible for preventative measures and ultimately an evacuation plan should the worst happen.

The Fire and Rescue Services (FRS) conduct regular inspections on high risk, none domestic premises to ensure companies comply with the order and take the necessary precautions to minimise risk to the public.  While premises such as hotels, residential homes and hostels are obvious areas of interest any company may be inspected if they are involved in a fire or have been brought to the attention of the FRS by a third party.  Any concerns, no matter how small may lead to an inspection and this article is to help prepare you regarding what to expect if you are ever asked to allow inspectors on site. Continue reading “Fire Safety Law and what to expect from a fire safety inspection”