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How To Resolve Workplace Conflict

Workplace conflicts are just the symptom of a far deeper team-wide problem. Sharon Klue of Kapital HR tells Bizcrowd how she restores harmony.

How do you resolve conflicts and performance issues in the workplace?

I am a certified executive coach and trainer, with an HR background in numerous industries including international Fortune 500 firms. Here at Kapital HR, we use a sophisticated tool called the Profiles Performance Indicator to reveal an individuals job performance as well as aspects of their personality that could impact their relationship with their managers, co-workers and team.

The Profiles Performance Indicator is used primarily for motivating and coaching employees, and resolving conflicts and performance issues.

It works by first assessing the whole team as individuals - the rationale being that you cannot manage what you dont know. By specifically measuring each individuals motivational intensity and behaviours, directly related to productivity, quality of work, initiative, teamwork, problem-solving and adapting to change, as well as their response to stress, confrontation or conflict, you are able to manage better.

I then use the assessments to identify where everybody in a team is at the moment. I pinpoint where their weak spots are and embark on a coaching programme. To this end, Kapital HR has partnered with Indaba Global to provide employees with tailored training solutions. Its a very cost-effective way of delivering the most crucial training needs while on the job.

What are the most common problems you are asked to resolve?

The main problems we get approached about are underperforming employees and conflicts within teams. Interestingly, the ones we see mostly coming through the doors are management teams and sales teams. Those are the two main teams that people seem to have a problem with.

What companies often fail to understand about management teams, specifically, is that the management team represents the core of their business. Youre only as strong as the weakest link, and if the management team isnt strong then they are unable to push the business forward. So we work with those teams to encourage them to work better together and achieve an optimum performance level.

Do you find that teams are resistant to change?

Yes. But its because people dont know how to solve the problem. They know they have conflict within their teams and that this is the cause of a problem, but they dont know where to start.

A lot of HR professionals try to resolve this type of issue by putting a workshop together, but they forget that the conflict is a symptom, not the cause. Instead, we address the cause of conflict. For instance, we could tell you if the root of the problem is in fact the manager.

What are the common causes of conflict?

We find long-term sickness is one of the biggest symptoms of both conflict and work-based stress. When we get to the root of this problem there is often a conflict between the employee and manager, which can cause numerous other issues. If we solve this right from the very beginning then everybody knows exactly where theyre going and you can put an action plan together to identify everything that needs to be addressed.

Does Kapital HR offer any other services?

We are primarily an HR resource management solutions company, but cover the entire spectrum from employment law and employment tribunals to TUPE management, site closures and relocations, collective consultation and redundancy, disciplinary procedures and investigations into whistleblowing to policies and procedures.

To deliver the full range of services Kapital HR provides, I work closely with John Pinder, an employment law and employee relations expert with over 20 years experience successfully managing Employment Tribunal claims, and Jude Atkinson, a highly versatile HR practitioner and consultant who advises everyone from line managers to board members on every key area of HR practice.

Sharon Klue

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