Conflict Coaching – an essential tool for overwhelmed HR professionals

Less than a decade ago, HR professionals were primarily focused on compliance, policies and procedures that supported the business and its employees. Fast forward to 2022, which has shifted towards protecting, motivating and empowering people through employee value propositions, rewards, and health and mental well-being.

That’s not to say the other parts of the job have gone away; rather, the role of HR has expanded.

The top 5 HR trends for 2022 from Gartner all put additional pressure and strain on HR professionals.

  1. Hybrid Work
    Most organisations are still in the middle of figuring out what works best for them. Every approach is being tried and tested, some successfully, some less so, as they tread the fine line between what’s best for business and what’s best for employees.
  2. More and new skills are needed
    Talent shortages are well reported. Across all industries, unfilled vacancies sit at 26.7% – more than double what it was this time two years ago. Being unable to fill roles means an increased workload for existing employees, which means a greater headache for HR.
  3. Workforce Health
    The pandemic significantly damaged employees’ health, the state of trust between individuals, teams and leadership, and workplace culture that HR has to help organisations recover from.
  4. Employees want to feel heard and understood
    The trend for people-centric organisations has become more mainstream. Employees know they have a voice and aren’t afraid to use it. For HR, this means increased interactions with staff and the expectation they’ll act on feedback.
  5. Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI)
    The requirement for organisations to be accountable for greater DEI is good. However, it usually falls to HR to figure out what this looks like and assumes they already have a solid understanding of how to progress DEI targets, break down barriers and tackle bias and discrimination.

I wonder how fair it is that the responsibility for all these additional things sits on HR’s shoulders?

It’s no wonder that 73% of HR professionals say they don’t have the tools they need to carry out their jobs effectively.

While some organisations have provided additional training such as Mental health first aid, they should also consider a train-the-trainer model that not only equips HR but empowers them to share these skills will all employees – creating an empowered workforce who can more effectively manage their own well-being in the workplace.

Knowing how to manage conflict offers a reprieve for HR

Conflicts are just one part of an employee’s experience at work, but knowing how to handle these situations as soon as they arise can prevent them from escalating. This not only enables a more positive and less toxic environment, but it also saves HR hours of time and can stop issues from going into a more formal process.

Individual or group conflict resolution coaching is especially helpful in solving specific disputes or empowering HR and other employees to feel confident in recognising, responding to and managing conflict.

HR professionals have more responsibility than ever when it comes to the human side of their role. But it’s important to remember that they are employees too. Organisations must equip their teams with the skills required for these new responsibilities and find ways to lessen the workload where possible.

Training your staff to manage conflict better is one way to do that. It’s fast, it’s effective, and it will make not just your HR team but your workplace happier and more harmonious. Who doesn’t want that?

Learn more about Conflict Resolution Coaching.