Training for promoting functional conflict
Promoting and sustaining ethical organizational culture.
Selecting as well as hiring ethical employees.
Promoting ethical decisions and ensuring appropriate programs and policies.
Rewarding ethical behaviour
Strategies for negotiation to have better outcomes.
Be an observer
Exert direct influence.
The conflict theory of Max's version emphasizes the conflict between two major classes. Moreover, various theorist of the conflict believes that competition is one of the essential, constant, and overwhelming aspects affecting human relationship (Folger et al. 2015). Functional conflict can be proved to be effective and good for the company as it helps promote a healthy exchange of opinions and creative thoughts along with the keen decision-making. Good things take place in an organization when contrasting views go head-to-head. Functional conflict is about allowing team members to share their ideas and resolve all the differences in the healthiest manner that can result in encouraging new ideas and innovation (Ellegaard and Koch 2014). It is the opposite of dysfunctional conflict having which is not at all beneficial for the organization and extremely harmful for communication, workplace morale, and efficiency. This makes training a necessity for promoting functional conflict instead of dysfunctional for maintaining a healthy work environment in the organization. To promote functional conflict I would choose to follow below-mentioned strategies:
This is the initial step that involves proper understanding of the conflict before dealing with it and then the attempt should be made for resolving it successfully. How we analyze conflict will hugely identify our approach and attitude to handle it.
Spot the differences (Toegal and Barsoux 2016) is one of the conversations that the authors have presented in their article mentioning that this conversation can be helpful for team members in reflecting on how they would intend to meet each other and how in reality they do. One of the best ways to begin this conversation would be to have a discussion related to the factors of status in the respective worlds of the team members. For example, some people related their status to the characteristics related to the job such as experience and functional background while some link it to demographic factors like gender and age.
Communication style is another method to make the team members understand about various dimensions of it that can be chosen by them to express their ideas (Folse 2018). Humans are often considered as imperfect communicators and this limitation results in generating conflict. It is important to encourage a culture of positivity as a person should not be negative about the ideas shared by the people. For example, if someone puts forth his idea related to some change happening in the company, one cannot directly say negative to it instead it can be tackled by mentioning it as a great idea. Interactive communication is vital that has to be explicit and tow-way helping to build trust between managers and employees.
Emotional awareness is one of the most essential tools for the employees to understand themselves as well as others in a team. If an individual is oblivious about how he or she feels in a definite way, that person may tend to lack productive and effective communication. It is quite obvious that team members may vary broadly in the intensity of their feelings, the way emotions are managed by them, and how passion is conveyed by them in a group. Therefore, it is quite useful to begin a conversation with them related to the kind of perspective members of the team are used to (Toegal and Barsoux 2016). For example, my team leader would always show passion for his opinions and therefore the entire team would be responsive towards it.
According to the conflict resolution strategy, Collaboration can be recognized as problem-solving or confronting which mainly involves an effort to work with the other person for finding a win-win solution to the issue that means the one which satisfies apprehensions of both the parties. It will provide an opportunity to agree to a mutually valuable outcome. The collaboration includes a higher degree of understanding and concern for the parties involved in the conflict (Barsky 2014).
It is often believed that HR professional lies in a unique position helping to create an ethical organizational culture due to their engagement in hiring, training and assessing which allows them to persuade the organization at different levels. Moreover, they are considered to be champions and guardians of an ethical culture in the workplace (Meinert, 2014). As guardians, HR professionals are responsible for protecting the employees, clients, and customers of the organization from any kind of unethical conduct. As champions, they can help flourish the organization by facilitating ethical values in regular operations.
As a manager, I can preserve strong ethical standards and strive to create a fair work environment that will be useful in maintaining the confidence of the employee and also in attracting new candidates.
It is crucial to hire ethically strong employees. One way to hire such employees is to have situation-specific questionnaires or personality tests. Personality tests are used for determining outlook, mood, and temperament whereas a questionnaire can be used to uncover the reaction of the candidate while facing any ethical dilemma.
As an HR manager, it is significant to foster ethical decisions as well as behaviour within an organization that mainly includes planning execution and communication of specific ethical programs (Nankervis et al. 2019). Ethical programs are useful in disclosing vital corporate values, usually through the application of employee and manager training and policies. Once the program gets executed, it can be monitored and evaluated by the senior management, and then the program will be modified as required or desired for ensuring the effectiveness. Ethical programs are similar to an insurance policy that helps mitigate the worst situations when the employees do stray and also assist in preventing accidents by raising safety awareness of the employee.
The employees must be recognized if they perform well or do the right thing (White 2016). Ethics can incentivize in several manners such as hiring by emphasizing ethics, promoting only such employees who demonstrate ethical behaviour, training leaders to distinguish and commend all those employees who act in a manner that aligns with the organization's ethics, and so on. Offering incentives can help reinforce the values of ethics. Incentives can be intrinsic as well as extrinsic. Intrinsic motivations are considered as the most powerful in comparison to extrinsic motivations. For example, a person having the habit of using foul language or misbehaving with his colleague cannot be tolerated within the organization as this behaviour is against codes of ethics and cannot be considered as professional standards.
Compensation systems are regarded as an integral part of the relationship which is established by the organization with its employees. Compensation can be scrutinized from the perspective of an individual. According to Buckley et al. (2001) every individual should be treated justifiably related to compensation which majorly involves the implementation of the systems that reduces the impact of wage compression, evaluation for evenhandedness of reward system, and guaranteeing perception of distributive justice.
Performance appraisal is one of the best ways for promoting ethical culture in the workplace as it symbolizes the credibility of the company as well as supervisors to workers which can have a long-term impact. Moreover, employees having the feeling that they are supported by their managers tend to have strong ethical behaviour at work. Performance behaviour is a process wherein the ethical behaviour of the employees can be tested. Therefore, the ethical manner wherein the employees can handle with each other, with subordinates and supervisors, with suppliers and customers, with legal structure, with performance effort and so on can tend to grow in considerable facet and can be sustained by reinforcement (Buckley et al. 2001).
Communicating effectively is highly significant for avoiding misunderstandings while handling various problems in the workplace (Ulrich and Dulebohn 2015). Effective communication can also make an employee break a rule of the organization by not getting reprimanded for it. For example, once I was not able to complete my assignment on time for which I informed my professor mentioning the actual reason for not doing it. The reason was explicitly told to him and for that, he spared me for not completing the assignment and did not penalize.
Employees are required to be educated regarding how to react in consequences that involve ethics. Thus, employees must be enrolled in an ethics training programs. These ethics programs usually include activities that are useful in encouraging ethical behaviour and also can reinforce the ethical code of the company.
Negotiation is an approach by which differences are settled by people or. In simple words, it can be said that it is the process in which agreement or compromise is reached by the avoidance of dispute and argument (Ting-Toomey 2015). In any kind of disagreement, people understandably aim at achieving the best probable result for their position. As an hr manager I would suggest the following strategies to improve negotiation outcomes:
Anxiety can be regarded as a state of agony in response to intimidating stimuli, specifically for the new circumstances having the possibility of undesirable consequences (Brooks, W. A. 2015). Thorough preparations, as well as relaxation tactics, can result in alleviating anxiety. The author suggests that little amount of anxiety can prove to be constructive that can help in concentrating and taking the task seriously.
As an hr manager, I can build anxiety for the person sitting on another side of the table. This can have a significant impact on the people experiencing anxiety that may lead them in responding quickly and exit negotiations at the earliest.
As an HR manager, it is important to keep the tempers normal while negotiating. Brooks (2015) noted in her article that several people believe that while negotiating anger can be regarded as a productive emotion that can help them in winning a huge share of the pie. Displaying anger while negotiating can damage the long-term relationship with the parties.
As an hr professional, it is crucial to be an observant and perceive how the employees feel which is considered to be a vital element of emotional intelligence and a key aspect in negotiation (Brooks, W. A. 2015). For example, I can ask questions based on my perception related to the emotional expression of the other party which can make it easier for me to understand the perspective of the individual.
Exerting direct influence on the emotions of the counterpart can also be one of the strategies (Brooks, W. A. 2015). For example, if the individual seems anxious or angry, then the injection of humour can dramatically amend the tone of the conversation.
In this strategy, I can ask the other person to enumerate the significance of the issue. For example, “how significant is the issue for you?” or in relation to another issue, it could be, "where does this issue stand with respect to priority for you?" Scaling is considered to be a useful strategy in negotiation when there are numerous issues and seems vital to the other side and as an hr manager one has to sense the priority.
Listening plays an important role in rebuilding trust and resilience in the relationship with the employees and may provide them with a sense of great satisfaction (Weger et al. 2014). It is crucial to train the mind to get completely involved in the act of listening and also to withhold personal judgment and this needs practice and judgment. Active listening is considered to be important while ensuring successful negotiations as negotiation is all about giving and taking information. The more information one has the more power is acquired and the more likely one will be able to reach the desired outcome.
Barsky, A. 2014. Conflict resolution for the helping professions. Oxford University Press.
Brooks, W. A. 2015. Emotion and the art of negotiation: How to use your feelings to your advantage. Harvard Business Review, pg 57-64.
Buckley, M. R., Beu, D. S., Frink, D. D., Howard, J. L., Berkson, H., Mobbs, T. A. and Ferris, G.R., 2001. Ethical issues in human resources systems. Human Resource Management Review, 11(1-2), pp.11-29.
Ellegaard, C. and Koch, C. 2014. A model of functional integration and conflict. International Journal of Operations & Production Management.
Folger, J., Poole, M. S. and Stutman, R. K. 2015. Working through conflict: Strategies for relationships, groups, and organizations. Routledge.
Folse, V.N. 2018. Communication and conflict. Leading and Managing in Nursing-E-Book, p.123.
Meinert, D. 2014. Creating an ethical workplace. Available at: www.shrm.org/hr
Nankervis, A., Baird, M., Coffey, J. and Shields, J. 2019. Human resource management. Cengage AU.
Ting‐Toomey, S., 2015. Identity negotiation theory. The International Encyclopedia of Interpersonal Communication, pp.1-10.
Toegel, G. and Barsoux, J. L. 2016. How to preempt team conflict. Harvard Business Review, 94(6), pp.78-83.
Ulrich, D. and Dulebohn, J. H. 2015. Are we there yet? What's next for HR?. Human Resource Management Review, 25(2), pp.188-204.
Weger Jr, H., Castle Bell, G., Minei, E. M. and Robinson, M. C. 2014. The relative effectiveness of active listening in initial interactions. International Journal of Listening, 28(1), pp.13-31.
White, G. 2016. Reward management. Edward Elgar Publishing Limited.
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