Conflict Resolution Policy
Your supervisor knows that you are in graduate school and currently learning about conflict resolution. You have told her that you want to move into more of a leadership role in your organization. To assist you in building your resume, she has asked you to develop a conflict resolution policy, procedures, and training for your organization.
This is a preliminary document so she wants you to keep it short. This paper should include:
• Introduction to the topic of conflict
• a brief discussion about what workplace conflict is and why a policy is important
• policy and procedures for resolving conflict, and
• a proposed outline for training topics.
• Submit your assignment by Sunday at midnight.
This paper should:
• Be approximately 4-5 pages long, double-spaced (1000-1200 words)
• Include a title and reference page – not included in the page count
• Exclude sources older than 5 years
• Include 4-5 sources from the required readings and scholarly sources. Please use only scholarly sources, no older than 5 years.
• Include an introductory paragraph and a conclusion
Conflict Resolution Policy
Conflict, or the propensities for it, are inherent in all humans and can be considered as something that is inevitable especially in the healthcare settings arena characterized by hierarchies, dilemmas and complexities (McKibben, 2017). Unpleasant workplace environments can result due to conflict in the workplace. In this paper, workplace conflict and the importance of policy will be briefly discussed. Policy and procedures for resolving conflict will also be developed and an outline for training topics proposed.
Workplace conflict is usually termed as the disputes and grievances that occur between individuals or groups or individuals in the place of work. It can involve discords or disagreement between or among individuals resulting from differences in opinion, negative perceptions, competitiveness, inadequate communication and undefined expectations or roles (McKibben, 2017). Conflicts can also result from disparities in the perception of the individual relating to care provision. Prerequisites like hostility, autocracy, inequalities, disrespect, hierarchies, and reduced morale can all be precipitating factors. Functional and dysfunctional conflicts can occur in organizations and they can result in growth or destruction depending on how they are managed. When used positively, conflict can encourage and stimulate change if team functions have become stagnant, it can inspire critical thinking and increase productivity.
In healthcare organizations, conflict can be intrapersonal, intergroup, interpersonal, competitive or disruptive. Interpersonal conflicts are most common among healthcare personnel are usually relationship based and resulting from interpersonal frictions, differing goals and views, resentment and tensions between two or more team members (Hallet and Dickens, 2017). Different outcomes can result from conflict depending on how it is managed and can include win-win, lose-win, lose-lose or compromise. In win-win, both parties are happy, in win-lose only one party is satisfied, in lose-lose both parties are unsatisfied while in compromise both parties agree to a solution. Dysfunctional outcomes have to be avoided and they can include sickness, stress, damaged relations, reduced function and resistance.
Importance of Policy
Policies are important to eliminate or reduce dysfunctional outcomes. People generally do not like conflicts and without clear policies employees can respond to conflict in negative ways that can involve confrontation, avoidance or destructive behavior. In healthcare organizations, such questionable professional conduct has to be avoided to ensure optimal patient outcomes and public trust. Policy development is therefore a critical starting point where clear, overt value statements concerning conflict in the organization are developed.
Principle and Procedures
Policies for resolving conflict are put in place with the aim of encouraging employees to find ways or resolving conflicts and fostering goodwill whenever possible through informal communication before the adoption of formal procedures for resolution (Currie et al., 2017). The policy should be in line with the code of conduct of employees in the organization. Discipline in the conflict resolution policy has to involve progressive discipline where there are increases in penalties or warnings for repeat occurrences. Retaliation to those who report conflict in good faith should be discouraged and prohibited. Such retaliation can include negative impacts like demotion, dismissal, bullying, relocation, wage reductions or adjustments in shift allocations. Disclaimers also have to be given that reports made in malicious manners or with prior knowledge of falsehoods will be investigated and can result in adverse reactions like termination of employment.
Effective conflict management and resolution depends on transparent listening, communication, and understanding of the perceived focus of disagreement. Recognition of the signs of conflict and sourcing its origins determines the best means of prevention and escalation can be prevented through recognition of early signs and acting on them. Some ground rules before approaching conflict include avoiding of the seven Cs which include comparing, commanding, challenging, condemning, contradicting, condescending and confusing (Currie et al., 2017). Telling people how to behave through commands induces resistance while comparing should be avoided as each case is unique. Condemning individuals is not a solution since we seek to solve the problem and not the person. Condescension and challenging behavior reduces morale and causes distress while confusing and contradictory actions result in frustration and uncertainty.
Various steps can be taken in resolving conflicts. These can involve defining the issue, clarifying it, identifying a mutual solution and finalizing. After the conflict is identified, it needs to be defined and clarified since most times one of the parties may not be aware of a perceived conflict or that what they are doing is negatively affecting a colleague. A joint resolution can then be sought between the parties to establish a mutual decision or agreement and discuss any barriers that could prevent achievement of common goals. With both parties sharing their side of the story, the mediator can identify the main concern and find common ground. Shared problem solving is encouraged as it enables climates of mutual respect and motivation for finding agreements that are mutually satisfactory. It is beneficial for trust, fairness, satisfaction, and facilitates better outcomes for the team and patients.