Addressing Workplace Conflict & Violence

Addressing workplace conflict and violence is a hot topic in today’s business. Within the world of staffing and providing staffing solutions in Denver, we are hearing more and more about safety initiatives, including training, awareness, background checks, and other measures to protect both employees and customers. What are some of the best practices, steps being taken, and lessons learned? Here are the top tips from around the web.

Focus on Clean, Clear Communication

It’s important to know you are staffing with the type of candidates who will participate in a conflict resolution process, rather than being belligerent. If the individual isn’t open to communication and feedback, he or she likely will fail to live up to expectations.

Management needs to develop clean, clear communication skills. It includes setting expectations of performance or behaviors, as well as holding people accountable for those in ways that are non-threatening. Keep defenses down by using language that seeks to address the concerning behavior, not the person doing it. State facts, not opinions, and keep the words succinct yet enough to explain the behavior, expectation, and correction.

Use statements that express the desired outcome such as, “Please be here five minutes early,” rather than “Don’t be late.” Positive statements allow for less push back and defense.

Suggested reading: VitalSmart’s Crucial Conversations

Don’t Take Things Personally and Don’t Make Things Personal

This is not just a staffing issue; it’s a human interaction issue that makes it easy to assume someone understands how the behavior affects others. However, in most cases, the individual doesn’t see it. Instead of taking it personally, remember the other person is doing his or her best, given the situation. Even though it may not seem “good enough” or may even seem bizarre, the person needs understanding, not judgment.

Take behaviors as information and seek to understand the motivations or circumstances behind the actions. Remember, everyone has had bad days and made mistakes. Seek to understand the reason for the behavior, rather than making a judgment about the person. This connection builds relationships in ways that reduces stress and increases trust, which are both important for conflict resolution.

Suggested reading: Don Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements

Staffing Conflicts and Emergency Preparedness

There will never be a way to plan for every type of emergency or scenario, but the most common ones should be considered and discussed. Several companies have created emergency plans to guide expectations in the case of crisis, either man-made or natural. If you don’t have one in place, consider taking time to do so.

Emergency preparedness training begins in elementary school with lock down, fire, and tornado drills, but how often are they done with adults? Consider what threats are most probable or even likely in your work space and create conversations and action plans to address them.

Suggested reading: Information found at

What has your company done to address employee conflicts, workplace violence and emergency preparedness? We’d love your feedback.

If you are in search of brilliant employees, let Colorado Network Staffing (CNS) help you find your right fit. CNS is a leader in Denver provide human resources and staffing solutions, staff augmentation, and contract management by acting as a sole human resource provider for our clients in Denver and around the country. Don’t waste your time, energy, and money on a bad hire. CNS has the experience, resources, and top-level management expertise to accomplish the tasks required on any size project. Contact CNS at 303-430-1441, and we’ll find you the best and brightest team.

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