I provide online training on how to stop unwanted behavior like bullying/harassment using behavioral science. This knowledge can also be applied to conflict management and I have several programs which address how to do that.
The question – can a tech solution to help streamline conflict resolution is an interesting one. Because the answer is – it depends. It depends on what exactly is happening.
Conflict isn’t simply a disagreement. It’s a disagreement that has devolved into a personal fight – at least on one side. Often on one side. It’s an unprofessional response to a professional disagreement.
Conflict can also be a symptom of bullying. Where the bully uses conflict to justify their behavior. Bullying often masquerades as conflicts.
With these 2 things in mind – there are a couple of things HR can do to use tech to help them.
1. They can use tech to help provide training to the people “in conflict” to help them learn how to better and more professionally deal with it so it stops being a conflict and goes back to being a disagreement. This does not take the place of counseling and coaching though. It’s more – complementary to counseling and coaching. The person coaching the individuals through the “conflict” can have them read things or take an online class as part of the counseling/coaching.
2. The other way they can use tech is as a whistleblowing/reporting system. Because conflicts are manifested as inappropriate and unprofessional workplace behaviors, the goal is to get the unprofessional behavior to stop. Additionally, since what looks like conflict may actually be bullying, providing staff with a way to report incidences of unprofessional behavior will help HR a) know what is going on and b) provide a record of unwanted/unprofessional behavior which can be used to justify employment action is retraining fails, which it often will if the problem is bullying. Basically – a whistleblower/reporting system can help you figure out if what is happening – is actually bullying, when used correctly.
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I am an HRCI & SHRM approved provider.