Never Avoid Conflict…HR Conflict Resolution Best Methods



image_20In businesses of every size, conflict is an unavoidable result of close working conditions, stress, deadlines and personality clashes. Just because conflict is routine, however, does not mean that it should be ignored. Doing so can erupt in further tension with dramatically negative results. Instead, follow these tips for identifying and resolving conflict head on.

Recognize and Identify the Signs of Workplace Conflict

Among HR managers, one of the most challenging aspects of resolving conflict is actually recognizing it before it’s too late. Leaders and managers should be able to recognize the signs of ongoing conflict without being confronted with it directly. According to Beth Rifkin, writing for the Houston Chronicle, the keys are regular communication, looking for common or consistent complaints, and holding regular meetings with the entire team or staff[1].

Don’t Address Conflict in the Heat of the Moment

While there are plenty of good times to address conflict, the absolute worst time is when one or both parties are visibly upset. This allows emotions to be pushed to the side and logical discussion to come into play. David Ballard, of the American Psychological Association’s Psychologically Healthy Workplace Program, believes that, “It’s difficult to have a productive discussion if you and your coworker are angry or upset. Wait until you are both clear-headed[2].”

Understand the WIIFM Factor

WIIFM, or What’s In It For Me, is an important aspect of conflict management that HR managers should be aware of. Conflict arises, generally, because one or more parties feel that they are not getting what they deserve, whether that is fair treatment, recognition or respect. Writing for Forbes, Mike Myatt suggests that, “It is absolutely essential to understand other’s motivations prior to weighing in[3].”

Listen More Than Talk

Leaders and managers are often eager to solve the problem, but listening may produce better results. UC San Diego encourages their faculty to listen, avoid interruptions and rephrase what the other person is saying in order to ensure that their needs are fully understood[4].

Where there is human interaction, there will be conflict. However, these methods can be effective in reducing tension and resolving conflict in the workplace.




Staying Competitive While Retaining the Best Staff


image_12In order to focus on retaining your best workers and staying competitive in the industry, you first need to look at why these employees tend to leave. When you understand what types of issues are forcing them out the door, you can concentrate on countering these concerns, so that employees stay with your company for the foreseeable future. While the myth is employees usually leave for more money, the truth is typically more complex.

To begin with, many employees switch companies simply because they are not receiving the treatment they desire. This might come down to supervisors with poor people skills. If employees feel like their supervisors are always bossing them around, being short and angry with their instructions, and generally adding to their level of stress, they may want to leave that environment even if it means taking a pay cut. In fact, Susan M. Heathfield reported on that “a bad boss is also the number one reason why employees quit their job.[1]” In a case like this, your retention rates could go up simply by replacing that supervisor or instituting new policies that create a more positive working environment.

Similarly, employees sometimes leave because of conflict with other employees. Heathfield also pointed out that “second only to an employee’s manager, the coworkers with whom he sits, interacts, and serves with on teams are critical components of an employee’s work environment[2].” If other employees are aggressive and consistently mean to them, they could leave a job that they actually love because they cannot stand working with that person. The best way to put an end to this is to address it upfront. Look for small conflicts and have management and the HR department work to defuse them before they get serious.

Finally, some employees leave because of a lack of advancement opportunities. This can be tied to money, but it’s not always connected. An employee may take a lower-paying job somewhere else if they feel the job they currently have is just a dead end. People grow bored and frustrated when they do not feel like they are working toward a goal, and Heathfield advises employers, saying that “if you have an employee who acts as if they are [bored], you need to help her find her passion[3].” Make sure that employees always have room to grow and move up in the organization.

Of course, money always has to be considered. If your pay levels are not competitive in the market, you are going to lose workers. However, concentrating on the three keys above can help you retain many employees in the years to come.







Staffing Management Plan to Manage and Keep Resources Utilized


image_15When it comes to operating a successful business, time is an invaluable resource. When shifts are overstaffed or understaffed, this can lead to wasted resources and decreased productivity. Creating a well-crafted staffing management plan is an excellent strategy for the recruitment and retention of quality employees. The following questions are designed to get you started with developing a staffing management plan for your business.

What is a staffing management plan?

A staffing management plan is a special document that allows HR staff to track and allocate the resources required to meet productivity goals. This enables businesses to recruit for specific positions at a time that is most advantageous to them. Additionally, the plan can help strengthen employee retention rates.

How can a staffing management plan help my business?

The main benefit of a staffing management plan is that it puts your business in control of its resources. When shifts are overstaffed, it costs valuable time and money that could be spent elsewhere. Similarly, when shifts are understaffed, this may negatively affect productivity and reduce the level of service customers are able to receive. From anticipating training requirements to estimating start and end dates for upcoming projects, a staffing management plan is a great tool for increasing the efficiency of any business.

What steps should I take to develop a staffing management plan?

The first step towards creating a solid staffing management plan is to consult a professional. Recruiting and staffing firms specialize in anticipating the needs of businesses and helping meet those demands. For this reason, these professionals are highly qualified to help your business develop a staffing management plan that is tailored to suit its specific needs. After going over details such as budget and timing needs, a recruiting or staffing expert can help develop a plan that will have your business running on schedule and more efficiently than ever before.

No matter what industry you are in, you have enough things to worry about. A staffing management plan is a quick and easy way to ensure that resources are being properly allocated.

Leveraging Social Media to Recruit the Best Talent



image_30The key to building a successful workforce is to be proactive in finding and recruiting the best talent that you can get. It is not enough to wait for people to apply and then pick the top applicants. You must make a concerted effort to locate these people and get in touch with them.

One way to do this is by harnessing the power of social media. Thanks to sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, people are now more connected than they have ever been before. Networking has always been important, but it’s simpler than it has been in the past with the easy-to-follow digital trail that connects each person to the next. In fact, according to MediaBistro, “92 percent of companies use platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook for recruitment[1].” To make use of it, though, you really have to be able to look past the chatter and noise to find the recruits you want.

You can start by looking for those who are showcasing their work. For example, many graphic designers and calligraphers will put their work up on Pinterest. They may also run personal blogs that are linked into various networks. They share this work with their followers simply because they are proud of it, but you can use it to easily assess what they are capable of. It was found that 73 percent of companies “hired successfully with social media”, so this is clearly a tactic that works[2].

The beauty of this system is that it puts less emphasis on asking for portfolios of work and doing interviews. You can often learn everything you need to know about their dedication, their quality of work and any special attributes that they have before you even get in touch with them. By the time that you reach out to them for an interview, you will have a very good idea of what they can provide and whether or not you want to offer them a job, making it take “less time to hire” as MediaBistro found was the case with 20 percent of the companies that used social media[3].

Finally, you can use social media to learn a lot about their background. Looking at their education level and their extracurricular activities — such as semesters spent studying abroad or participation in a college athletic team — can give you some idea of their personality, so you can determine whether or not they are a good fit for your team.



[1] [2] [3]




Unified Communications Approach to Recruit and Retain Staff


As leaders in the recruiting industry, we have seen firsthand how technology has forever changed the recruiting field. In a world where texting and social media rule, many businesses have struggled to redesign their recruiting and retention strategies to reach an increasingly tech-savvy audience. This is why the unified communications approach to recruit and retain staff has emerged.

What is the “unified communications” approach?

To put it simply, the unified communications approach involves re-conceptualizing the way businesses interact with their employees. This method seeks to break down communication barriers between businesses and their employees using non-traditional means of correspondence.

Incorporating the unified communications approach into your business may make it more attractive to current and potential employees. In fact, a recent report by Forbes magazine revealed that continuous communication is one of the top non-monetary ways to increase employee satisfaction[1].

Here are some creative ways to implement a unified communications approach to recruit and retain employees:


It is no secret that the onboarding process can be stressful and costly for everyone involved. Here are some unified communications methods that may help:

  • Video interviews: From Skype chats to WebEx conferences, video interviews are now easier than ever. Not only is this a cost-effective pre-screening technique, but it can also be much more convenient for applicants and HR staff.
  • Social networking: Sites like LinkedIn can also be great tools for recruiters. In addition to being able to communicate directly with applicants through a company profile, recruiters are also able to gain some insight into an applicant’s background through a personal profile and endorsements.


Once employees are hired on, keeping them satisfied with their jobs is key to maintaining high retention rates. Here are some unified communications tools that can assist with this:

  • Unified messaging systems: Unified messaging systems allow businesses to streamline messaging programs like voicemail, email, SMS messaging and even faxes. Bringing these tools into your business can improve company-wide communication and job satisfaction.
  • Collaborative technology: Programs like Dropbox and instant messaging software can be great for collaborative projects. Dropbox allows multiple employees to simultaneously contribute to a project. Likewise, chat software can allow employees to communicate quickly and effectively from various locations.

A unified communications approach is all about breaking down communication barriers. If your business is having difficulty implementing its own unified communications program, consider enlisting the help of a recruiting firm. With years of experience in the recruiting industry, a firm can help you develop a unified communications strategy that meets the unique needs of your business.