Why Workplace Investigations Don’t Solve Conflict

A television series on American public television will have one thing in common: it does not use the “F” word. In my personal and professional life jolasers, I support the use another profound F’ word. This word has been banned from the workplace vocabulary for many years. You will be treated strangely if this word is mentioned in your workplace. This is all about resolving conflict.

Technical solutions and train accidents

The solution to conflict between employees at work is not technical. Ask any HR professional. It is because you are dealing with emotional pain and there is no treatment, no topical cream, or anesthetic available to treat it. One of these solutions is performance management. Organizations continue to apply creams to workplace conflict, which is disconcerting. It’s like trying to do the same thing over-and-over expecting a different result.

A bigger problem is how to address workplace conflict. It’s because no one wants to be involved in the emotional turmoil that can sometimes ensue. It is impossible to solve conflict between people if we aren’t open to meeting other humans on the same plane. In dealing with workplace conflicts, we are so removed from the situation that we don’t refer to the people involved as people. We instead refer to them by their names: ‘parties’ or ‘complainants’ or’respondents. We don’t treat people involved in conflict with humanity and expect to work alongside them to resolve the conflict. This is a ridiculous place to be in! You can read any workplace policy about grievance resolution to see if I’m wrong.

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