Do I need conflict management training
This is a question often asked internally by organisations. In fact it is often one the first questions asked by potential clients when they call our offices. “We have had a couple of minor incidents. Do you think we need training?” Well here are 4 simple questions to ask that may help arrive at an answer.
1. Do you have employees that interact with members of the public?
2. Do they occasionally have to manage irate or frustrated members of the public
3. Has a member of the team been verbally abused?
If the answer to all the above questions are yes then the real question is
4. Do your employees know what you, as an employer, want them to do in these situations or are they left to their own life experience?
The majority of companies we have worked with as a result of an incident could not with hand on heart answer question 4 with Yes. Roles within the organisation had developed and changed especially since the beginning of the recession. Employees were being asked to do more with less. Employees who several years ago were working in the back office were now front and centre for organisations managing customer interactions. Training is just one aspect of an effective conflict management solution. Training should be used to reinforce conflict management procedures and policies within an organisation. It provides participants with the knowledge, skills and competencies to manage a conflict situation effectively however it is nothing without the correct processes, supports and equipment to enable your employees to carry out their role.
We normally get a call regarding training as the result of an incident in a workplace. It’s an organisations rational response to try and prevent a similar incident from occurring again, there is a duty of care to your employees to do something. Conflict management training is therefore often a reactive measure in response to an incident, however it doesn’t always have to be.
In the modern workplace more and more companies are beginning to take a proactive approach to their employee’s safety. The old saying that prevention is better than cure certainly rings true in this case. Why wait until one of your employees have been threatened, abused or injured to act? Putting in place measures to prevent incidents from ever happening or to manage situations before, during and after effectively when conflict occurs shows an organisations true capacity to protect their employees.
Poor conflict management solutions will result in absence, medical costs, loss of productivity, and loss of staff confidence in their employer. No conflict management strategy will have all the above results as well as directly affecting employee welfare and retention.
An integrated conflict management solution that provides protection from risk, increased staff confidence and most importantly peace of mind for your employees, is an investment in your organisations future. The real question to consider is “Can we afford not to have an effective conflict management solution?”