April is Workplace Conflict Awareness Month, giving workplace managers and executives a good opportunity to refocus on efforts to keep workplaces running smoothly — and above all, safely.
Workplace conflicts can sap productivity, lead to higher turnover and even result in violence. An estimated 2 million American workers will be the victim of workplace violence each year.
Thankfully, there is a wealth of workplace conflict mitigation practices that can help employers focus on conflicts before violence can occur. And even when violence may not even be in the realm of possibility, reducing the more day-to-day conflicts can help companies save time and money, and boost employee morale.
A Checklist for Great Bosses
Communication: Make sure every employee is aware of his or her roles and responsibilities. Clarity on deliverables or deadlines is essential and can help your colleagues work together to achieve the shared goals of interest to the organization.
A clear reporting structure: When tensions or pressure arise, make sure your team members know where to go for help. If it’s not a traditional human resources department, make sure there are people and processes in place so that every worker has confidence that problems can be reported and addressed.
Treat everyone fairly: The Golden Rule is really the best one to follow at work, as all workers should treat others the way they would like to be treated. That’s not so simple when pressure is high, a sale falls through, a customer is angry, or when layoffs loom large. Managers and executives need to focus on fairness in stressful times, and to encourage a collaborative, congenial environment.
Anticipate problems before it’s too late: Many companies will have a process for a firing, for instance, to mitigate the problems that may arise from an angry former colleague. But unexpected things can arise at work, as they can anywhere. Make sure workers have a way to sound an alarm before it’s too late. For example, Regroup’s TipSafe anonymous reporting feature could be used by workers to report on a potentially dangerous situation before it becomes a crisis.
Whether your company is large or small, there are a wealth of resources to help you raise awareness about the dangers of workplace conflicts that could result in violence, discover ways to mitigate the risks and learn about warning signs before it’s too late.
One particularly useful resource is the U.S. Department of Labor’s workplace violence website, by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. There, you will find:
- Risk Factors
- Prevention Programs
- Training Procedures
- Regulations about Mitigating Risks
One of the most useful tools in reducing conflict and keeping your workplace safe is a mass notification system that improves employee communications. Not only is it a simple and elegant way to keep teams all on the same page for day-to-day operations, it helps clearly convey pertinent news about deadlines, training, staff changes and other things that could cause needless confusion and conflict.
And should a violent conflict arise, a mass notification system like Regroup’s is the No. 1 way to inform an entire workforce to keep them safe and informed when seconds count.
For information about how a mass notification platform can help improve safety at your workplace, call (855-REGROUP) to schedule a demo, or visit Regroup.com.