Resolving conflict at work

Conflict is often caused by disagreement or differences of interests and opinions. It results in lower morale in the work environment and a higher turnover rate. Although it’s sometimes considered in a positive way in which it can creates new ways of thinking and more innovative solutions to resolving problems. On the other hand, Negative conflict may lead to production and performance shortages.


One of the biggest challenges facing both managers and employees is how to resolve work conflict. It mostly affects the progress of team work. The first step that needs to be implemented is to identify the reasons of conflict, for example:

• Value and personality differences: When there is a lack of understanding of each employee differences. As each individual comes from a different background, having different needs, wants and preferences.

• Variety of Interest: When each employee work for his/her personal goals and not taking in mind the whole organizational effectiveness and success.

• Low performance: when one of the employees is not achieving his/her work effectively, conflict is more likely to occur.


Monitoring conflict closely can help in controlling the entire organization environment. There are many ways to control and resolve work conflict:

• Avoidance: doing nothing and waiting for the conflict to fade away.

• Collaboration: team work to find the best suitable solution that satisfies all parties.

• Competing: waiting for the best person to win the conflict without doing anything.

It’s well noted that the best method here is Collaboration, as working together is the best win-win solution.


How to make a positive conflict solution

• Identify the reasons of conflict and why you want to resolve them.

• Communicate with the conflicting parties face to face as it’s the best communication channel to resolve conflicts and explains the reasons and solutions behind the conflict.

• Identify the results of resolving a particular conflict.



By Zahra Madan

Communication Within Workplace

Communication; the one major role playing element in our daily life that is both inevitable and irreversible. As a matter of fact, we could be engaged in a communication with our surroundings with minimum to no realization at all, where we could be conveying and encoding different kinds of messages and/or emotions through one’s eyes, gestures, facial expressions, and the list goes on (Dutta, 2013).

Since there is no going back in what we say or the impressions we give out; in a workplace in particular, it is significant for us to understand the influence our way of communication has on how we are perceived as individuals. Below is outlined some of the main guidelines for effective communication within the workplace:

First things first, it all starts with active listening, for it is a key to fully comprehend what is being said hence being able to respond accordingly. A quick tip would be to avoid concentrating on what you will say next, instead give your full attention to what the other party is saying (Fusilero, 2017).

When you are involved in a conversation make sure you are well engaged, as your body language can demonstrate and reveal whether you are following what is being said or not, for it will convey whether you are showing respect or not (Fusilero, 2017).

No matter how stressed you get, the more positive and optimistic thinking you incorporate in your communication, especially during critical working conditions, the better influence you will have on your team, which will eventually reflect positively on the overall productivity (Jones, 2016).

Disagreements are common and are likely to happen more often than not, which is why it is important to understand that all matters should be addressed in a professional, respectful manner. Therefore, avoid using words that may sound like belittling, or that may demonstrate personal attack, instead, act more reasonably and considerately (Powell, 2016).

Speaking and communicating professionally can help you succeed, grow, and build strong connections and a solid social/professional network. Finally, remember, it’s not just what you say, but how you say it, that can make you sound professional and mature.


10 Steps to Improve Your Workplace Communication Skills [Online] / auth. Jones Peter // The Job Network. – April 18, 2016. –
8 tips for keeping workplace conversation professional [Online] / auth. Powell Michelle // Alabama Local News. – May 23, 2016. –
Business Communication [Book] / auth. Dutta Suparna. – Delhi : PHL Learning, 2013.
Dos and Don’ts of Communication in the Workplace [Online] / auth. Fusilero Tricia // Corporate Event Interactive. – March 3, 2017. –


By Zainab Sayed

Employee turnover

Employee turnover refers to the number or percentage of workers who leave an organization and are replaced by new employees.
Employee retention
Retention relates to the extent to which an employer retains its employees and may be measured as the proportion of employees with a specified length of service (typically one year or more) expressed as a percentage of overall workforce numbers.

Three Problems Caused by Employee Turnover:
• Cost implications
• Overall business performance.
• Turnover can be difficult to control.

Ways to Reduce Employee Turnover:
• Hire The Right People
• Offer Competitive Pay And Benefits
• Allow Flexible Work Schedules
• Set with the employee who resigned and ask about the reason of leaving
• Recognize and reward employees

Improving Employee retention:
The first steps when developing an employee retention strategy are to establish:

• why employees are leaving
• the impact that employee turnover has on the organization, including the associated costs.

This data can be used to develop a costed retention strategy that focuses on the particular issues and causes of turnover specific to the organization.

Organizations should consider the following elements, all of which have been shown to play a positive role in improving retention and are likely to impact the working environment:

• Job previews – Give prospective employees a realistic job preview at the recruitment stage – don’t oversell the job or minimize aspects of the role.

• Career development and progression – Maximize opportunities for employees to develop skills and careers. It’s also important to understand and manage people’s career expectations. Where promotions are not feasible, look for sideways moves that vary experience and make the work more interesting.

• Consult employees – Ensure that employees have a ‘voice’ through consultative bodies, regular appraisals, attitude surveys and grievance systems. Where there is no opportunity to voice dissatisfaction and influence outcomes, resigning may be the only option. See more in our employee voice factsheet.

• Be flexible – Wherever possible, accommodate individual preferences on working hours and times. As part of this, it’s also important to monitor workload and ensure it is manageable within working hours

• Pay attention to employee well-being – Avoid a culture of ‘presenteeism’ where people feel obliged to work longer hours than are necessary to impress management. Find out more in our Health and well-being at work survey report.

• Treat people fairly – A perception of unfairness, whatever the management view of the issue, is a major cause of voluntary resignations. For example, perceived unfairness in the distribution of rewards is very likely to lead to resignations.

• Defend your organization against penetration by head-hunters and others seeking to attract your staff, for example by refusing to do business with agents who have poached staff in the past.

By Eman Hussain

How to Find and Secure the Best Talent for Your Business

Running a successful business in 2015 means having a great product and superior customer service and care. To do that, you need more than good quality control and company policies, though – you need the best talent in your industry. Of course, so does your competition. Every business owner in the world wants to find and retain the very best talent in their field, but how can you not only attract them but also keep them and maintain their loyalty?

Don’t Settle for Mediocre Employees

First of all, whether you’re running a startup or an established company, you should never settle for employees who don’t really impress you in interviews. If you hire mediocre employees, you’re going to get mediocre performance. Then your company will get a reputation for being, well, mediocre.

The best of the best won’t want to interview with you, and you’ll be stuck with the same crop of average or below-average talent to choose from. So, even if the hunt for new staff takes a bit longer, it’s always worth it to insist on talent that knocks your socks off.

Prioritize Your Employees

According to famed entrepreneur and billionaire, Sir Richard Branson, “If you take care of your employees they will take care of your business.” Essentially, if you put your employees first and show them that they have your support in all of their endeavors, then they will put in the extra effort it takes to show your customers the best care and service possible.

You can do this by maintaining an “open door” policy with your employees and letting them know that they can always come to you if they have recommendations or problems. If issues arise, work with your employees to maintain a positive company culture and to show them that they are your highest priority.

Show Gratitude and Appreciation

You can also build employee loyalty by showing gratitude and appreciation. When one of your staff members goes above and beyond, don’t hesitate to publicly show them that you appreciate their work. This can be as simple as a pat on the back, or you can choose to give incentives and/or bonuses for employees who really go the extra mile.

One thing to avoid, though, is punishing employees for a perceived lack of performance. If one of your employees is not performing up to the level you expect, handle it privately and positively. Find out what’s causing the issue and how you can help your employee fix it. This will show that you care about your employees, and it will encourage better performance much more than any punishment. As the old saying goes, you’ll attract more flies with honey than vinegar.

When you treat your employees with respect and show them that you care about them and their job satisfaction, your business will gain a reputation for being a place where people want to work. Soon you’ll have the top talent in your industry seeking you out, and if you continue with this philosophy you’ll have no problem retaining them.


By Sangeeta Parmar

Management Development

Management development is the structured process by which managers enhance their skills, competencies and/or knowledge, via formal or informal learning methods, to the benefit of both individual and organizational performance.

The effective management of both private and public sector organizations is widely perceived to be of critical importance to organizational success and, more broadly, to national economic well-being. Some critics, moreover, argue that the UK has certain deficiencies in respect of the qualities and skills of its management base when compared with managers at the global level.

This means that the development of managers to help sustain their performance at the highest levels possible is a particularly crucial element of wider organizational learning strategies.
Managing involves the planning, organization, co-ordination and implementation of strategies, programmers, tactics and policies in respect of people, resources, information, operations and finance. Management development interventions may therefore cover any or all of these areas, depending on the level and nature of the management role as well as other factors such as the stage of the individual’s career.

Why is developing managers different?

The vastly divergent nature and characteristics of the management base means that the task of identifying and providing effective learning opportunities for managers presents a significant challenge for HR and L&D professionals.
The term ‘manager’ covers a huge range of roles, encompassing senior management teams as well as middle and specialist managers and a diverse array of line managers, together with individuals who occasionally take on project management roles, all with differing development needs.
For senior managers, there is often a need for individually tailored solutions, as the senior management cadre is small even in large organizations. Some very senior people, such as managers at board level, may have the perception that others in the organization fail to understand the pressures they face. However, they can also be sensitive to their senior status, and may reject the idea that they need to learn, although the neutrality of the term ‘development’ often appeals.
There are differences too in respect of company size or nature. Small firms are not simply smaller versions of big companies in terms of managerial roles but have different priorities and needs. Their senior management development needs may relate to functional skills more normally demonstrated in large environments by specialists.

Identifying Management Development needs

Several techniques, as highlighted below, may be of particular significance in respect of identifying development needs specifically for managers.

Management competences

Larger organizations often have the capacity to identify the requirements for effective management in the form of specific competence frameworks, which will include many of the specialist areas such as:

• the skills of managing others
• knowledge of management techniques and the development of strategy
• Interpersonal skills such as communicating, influencing and negotiating.

Management Development Techniques

Given the widely divergent nature of the management base, it is important to consider a variety of approaches that may be appropriate for differing management groups or individual managers and to tailor solutions accordingly.
A wide array of formal and informal learning methods, ranging from in-house and external courses, workshops and seminars to coaching and mentoring, project working, networking, e-learning, blended learning and action learning, may be relevant for the development of managers, depending on the nature of the role and seniority or career stage of the individual.
Some learning methods that are likely to be particularly relevant in respect of management development are highlighted below.

Formal learning

A wide range of formal education and training courses and qualifications are available in respect of management development, with options including:
• Undergraduate, postgraduate (most notably the MBA) or other higher education qualifications in business/management. These tend to cover the main disciplines associated with management in general, such as finance and accounting, marketing, HRM and operations management, and may also encompass specialist options (for instance the management of innovation, risk or compliance) or occupationally-specific modules (such as retail or healthcare management).
• Vocational qualifications such as national or Scottish vocational qualifications (NVQs/SVQs) in the area of management/business studies.
• Courses and qualifications from management membership organizations including the ‘chartered manager’
• Specialist courses, including those delivered by professional bodies as part of continuing professional development (CPD) programmers.
• Management apprenticeships in a wide range of areas such as purchasing and supply management.
Formal educational provisions may represent highly stimulating and useful ways of acquiring knowledge or learning about the techniques of management, though the costs of such provisions may be substantial.
Certain formal courses are often taken by individuals at an early stage of their management careers, for instance some companies sponsor new employees on MBA or similar programmes.
However, formal provision may be relevant at any or all stages of a manager’s career, for example, a long-standing manager in the field of employee relations might wish to undertake a formal course covering latest employment law developments.

Work-based methods

Coaching and mentoring
Coaching and mentoring are one-to-one methods that offer personally-tailored reflection and discussion in confidence between a manager and another individual about that manager’s development. They are also skills that managers need to master themselves in order to manage others effectively.

This involves the pairing up of two managers who each spend a day (or other set period of time) shadowing the other, followed up with a de-brief where the shadower can feed back observations to their colleague.

Taking another role can help managers with broadening skills, knowledge and experience.

Sharing knowledge
Increasingly popular ways to expand manager’s learning is to have them teach others. Facilitated by the L&D team, perhaps as part of a ‘Lunch & Learn’ series, having an open question and answer session with a senior manager can encourage learning both ways.

Communities of practice
The concept of a community of practice as a means of development dates back to the early 1990s. Members with common interests can meet to share practice, experience, information and ideas. Whilst this can be in a physical setting, the growth of online social platforms, media and technology also provides the opportunity for managers to engage in development conversations both within their organizations and externally with peers.


By Eman Hussain

Utilization of Artificial Intelligence by Online Jobsites

Don’t you just love sifting through all of the available jobs at the many online jobsites…says no one, ever. No, job searching online is a very challenging task due to several things – the sheer volume of potential jobs, the different tasks required for each online job submission, and the fact that you could be wasting your time because a listing is outdated, filled or not that great a fit. Fortunately, AI is available to step in and save the day.

AI – as in Artificial Intelligence – is now an actual tool at work in helping millions of online job seekers find the right jobs for their needs. As one article notes, “Too often, we think we’ve scored our dream job with the company we’ve long admired from afar, only to end up realizing it just wasn’t the right fit. There are so many factors to consider: the work culture, the hours, how much you need to travel—maybe even whether dogs are allowed in the office.”

This is why several different software designers have now used their skills to create better tools for online job seekers and jobsites. One is Beansprock that relies on natural language processing along with AI to match information input to ideal jobs. It is, as that same article explained part of an enormous shift towards AI in the job hunt. “Big tech companies, including Google, Facebook and Baidu, already use AI …startups are getting into the game as well, looking to remake the length and breadth of the business world—including job hunting.”

Naturally, AI needs a lot of authentic data, and the best systems don’t allow their users to control everything entered into the system. Instead, the systems in use ask an individual to take a few moments to answer specific questions about important issues. The size of a company, phrases or words describing the culture, the skills you have, and more. Then, you are asked to link online profiles, such as LinkedIn profile to give the software even more data.

The AI takes this information and runs it against the updated job listings it pulls from all available online sources each day. Running it against everything from salary requirements and locations to those cultural terms you input, and the algorithm then delivers the most appropriate matches. Some even ask if you are willing to enhance job skills, relocate or other options in order to deliver the most comprehensive lists.

Another well-known platform that rolls AI into the job search is EdGE Networks. This is a unique spin on the concept, and it involves the creation of “sharp job descriptions armed with pertinent markers” that can be readily matched to pre-existing resumes and digitally input profiles. It then scores and ranks both sides of the equation and brings up the jobs that seem the most likely matches to the individual resumes. Like the Beansprock example, “helps determine the career path of talent, assess skills gaps and bridges these gaps by recommending relevant learning paths”, supporting both job seekers and employers.

AI is transforming business in many ways, including HR and job seeking. With its intense pattern recognition and cognitive powers, it is a natural tool for organizations as well as individuals and is sure to grow as a tool in job seeking.


By Jamie Groom

How to Effectively Manage Teams

No matter what industry your business is in, you are going to need to learn to manage teams effectively. The fact is your employees make up one large team that should work together in harmony to improve your business. And, within that large team, you should have smaller teams of individuals who work closely together to achieve specific goals. To work efficiently, those teams need good management. They need individual and group attention, and they need guidance to push them in the right direction.

Get to Know Your Team

First of all, it is absolutely essential that you get to know each member of your team. You do not have to become best friends with them by any means, but you do need to get to know their work habits and style. You need to understand what kind of supervision they need and what styles of management they react best to.

Getting to know the members of your team will help you delegate tasks properly, resolve conflicts when they arise, and find the best solutions for interpersonal challenges. If you know that one team member prefers to check in after every task is complete while another prefers to be given the freedom to work through an entire project without regular check-ins and updates, you’ll know how to craft compromises that will work for both of them when they work together.

Be a Part of the Team

If you approach managing your team as if you are not a part of the team, you are going to have trouble. If, however, you roll your sleeves up and dive into challenges and projects with your team, then you will gain their trust and loyalty. That doesn’t mean that you’ll have to take on every task that your team is assigned – you should still delegate and supervise – but it does mean that you shouldn’t be afraid to work closely with your team instead of simply telling them what to do and walking away.

Be a Diplomat

No matter how much effort you put into pairing the perfect members for your team, you are going to run into personal conflicts among them. This is inevitable, but it does not have to be a major problem. If two or more of your team members are having a conflict, invite them to meet with you. Listen to each side objectively and work with them to find a compromise that everyone can live with.

The more diplomatic you are in your approach to your team, the more effective your management will be. Remember, you want to do your best to ensure that no one walks away from a conflict feeling defeated. That kind of feeling will affect your team’s dynamic and productivity. Whenever possible, try to show everyone involved that the decisions you’ve made are for the good of the team and the business and that they will result in a better work environment for everyone. The more approachable and communicative you are with your team, the easier this will be and the more effective you’ll be as a manager.


By Barry Prost

10 Ways to Attract Best Talents to Your Organization

Business owners and managers often complain that “good help is just so hard to find,” and that may be true. However, it is not always that “talent” is thin on the ground. In fact, it is often simply that the owners and managers don’t know how to actually find or seek the talent they want and need.

That is why we need to review the ten top ways to attract the best talent for your organization – no matter what sort of company or group it might be. Yes, there are universal ways of finding the best people, and these ten tips are sure to help you reach your staffing goals.

1. Talent wants appeal – When you want to attract the best people for your organization, don’t just look at this through a one way lens. Take a few steps back and look at yourself. Sure, you can scrutinize the people you will hire, and make sure they are a good fit for your needs, but what about them? Are you offering a good working environment? What about benefits and pay? Even more importantly, are you showing them that this is the ideal place for their interests and skills? If you fail here, you won’t get the attention you want from the people who have the talent.

2. Be branded – If you are not a recognizable brand or entity, you may not appeal to talented workers. Make sure that your branding positions you as a magnet that your desired workers won’t be able to resist.

3. Consider the leaders – Many professionals understand that it is not the “company” that a person turns down or leaves. It is the management or the lack of leadership that they leave behind. If you are not giving attention to the quality and overall appeal of your leadership, you can forget attracting the best talent.

4. Share profits – One way to encourage the interest of the truly talented is to incentive performance through profit sharing. Let them get a return from their input, and they will line up outside your door!

5. Positive environment – Corporate culture is one thing, but it is the day to day experiences in the workplace that tend to serve as the “make or break” issue. If you can create a strong support system for employees and show that they are more than just drones or worker bees, you will attract the best people.

6. What do you offer? – There is a tendency for leadership to focus on the bottom line. This can often leave compensation on the leaner side. A startup company can get away with this for a while, but any established firm that hopes to retain good employees has to offer attractive incomes.

7. Show growth – If you cannot show that others have progressed in their careers and really grown professionally, a talented person will not have an interest in your firm. Show the opportunities.

8. Please your interns – There is also a tendency for companies that use internships to provide only the most tedious tasks and opportunities. That means you are looking at interns as low cost or free laborers. This is not a healthy perspective and will allow you to lose out on amazing opportunities. Utilize interns and build their skills!

9. Challenge the talent – Most talented people know that they are talented. They love to be challenged, and that means that any firm that can provide opportunities for the staff to work outside of the routine or the comfort zone is likely to be attractive to truly talented people.

10. Stay at home, travel, and learn – If you want to be appealing to talented folks, offer them the “brain food” and the flexibility that they desire. Pay for some courses every year, encourage work related travel, allow them to telecommute…these can be irresistible options.
Use these tactics and find the labor force of your dreams!

Works Cited
Ash, Eve. 10 key ways to attract and retain your most talented staff. SmartCompany. 2013.

By Zainab Sayed

How to Create a Positive Work Environment

It does not matter if you are a manager, company owner, or the lead staff member in a specific department, if you are someone that everyone else turns to, or considers an authority figure; it is up to you to ensure that there is a good working environment.

This includes a lot of different issues. For example, some people say that a positive work environment has more to do with the comfort of the working areas, the general atmosphere, and even the color scheme than it does with anything else. Others might laugh at this notion and say that a positive work environment is one in which all members of the staff are clear on their responsibilities and confident in their role. Even more might say that it has to do with trust, expectations, and more.

So, how do you create a positive work environment when there are so many ways to view this issue? It really is not all that complex. There is not a lot of difference between the three definitions above. Though it might seem that there is, the reality is that they all reflect a few simple things.

What are they? Essentially, a positive work environment has to do with the comfort of the people who are working in all levels of that environment. It has to do with the level of success that the work has achieved. And it has to do with a sense of respect throughout all levels of the workplace.

How do you create that? It takes the following:

Trust – For people to feel comfortable, they have to trust one another. That means that each person who works in a specific work environment must demonstrate that they are dependable. Say you are going to do something, and you must follow through on it. If you are a manager, this is key, but you must not be the only one who has to follow through. It must be a clear expectation that everyone has to be dependable to this same level.

Communication – Open and positive communication across the entire work environment is a major key to a positive workplace. Why? When everyone who works in a business or firm feels that they are valued in the same way as anyone else, it is going to create a very successful atmosphere or setting. This begins with strong communication that allows each person to know that they have been heard. Good communication is also going to be fostered through group communication. Regular meetings and times when each employee can discuss projects, concerns, or other issues is going to nurture an open and balanced workplace.

Teambuilding – You cannot force a sense of team spirit to develop between co-workers, but any manager or business owner can most certainly use teambuilding activities and behaviors that ensure all employees feel valued and important. When they do, it creates a very strong workplace. How is it done? You must find ways of showing every single member of the staff that they are providing an important role in the firm. When people feel individually valued by those around them, it allows everyone to strive for a common goal. Rather than fighting for respect or recognition, they already have it and will happily work with co-workers to achieve office or business goals.

It is never easy to achieve all of these things, but when leadership strives for this sort of community spirit and sense of value among all of their staff, it ensures that everyone is working together to meet specific goals. This creates a positive workplace in which people really look forward to coming to work each day.

Works Cited
Inside Jobs. Ten Ways to Create a Positive Work Environment. InsideJobsCoach. 2013.

By Ahmed Albarni

The Power of Asking the Right Interview Question

Did you know that the first cell phone was made because of this question?
“Why is it that when we want to call and talk to a person, we have to call a place?”
This was asked by an engineer working at Motorola, and it is a good illustration of asking the right question at the right time. This also serves as a good model of the importance of asking the right questions when interviewing possible employees.

Ask the Question to the Right Candidate
A lot of employment experts say that many companies, businesses, and firms have a high turnover rate because they are not looking for employees in the appropriate way. They don’t mean that people are doing a search in the wrong way, but that they are not looking for the employees that they really want or need.
Here’s what we mean: A firm is looking for a go-getter and starts scouring the usual channels to find the ideal “match”. They let someone else identify themselves as a good fit based on things like their resume or CV and by their stated interests or professional goals. That is a logical method for matching up the potential candidates, but isn’t there a bit more that could be done?
For example, have you taken a step back to look at your firm or business to ensure that it is the ideal match to that person? Are you offering the candidates the kinds of challenges and opportunities that they want or can fulfill? This is something easily overlooked, and yet there are ways of finding out if you have the ideal person seated across from you during an interview.

Ask and Receive
If you use the traditional routes for identifying likely candidates for your company, you may have a lot of good options. It is narrowing them down to the “just right” candidates. That is the trick.
The simplest way of doing this is by asking them the right questions. While there are the stock questions such as:
Why do you think you are a good fit for this firm?
What do you think are your best and worst professional features?
Where do you see yourself in five/ten/fifteen years?
There are other, and more befitting, questions to be asked.

Understand the Big Picture
What are you hiring this person to do? We cannot give you that answer, but you must have a very clear understanding of it before you can choose the right candidate. For instance, let’s say you want a project manager. That’s a pretty clear answer. However, will this person also work with additional staff? Will they have interns? Will they do fieldwork? How difficult is it to market the product or service related to their work? How long will they be doing this task? What sort of growth opportunities does this job present?

The list goes on and on. You have to have a truly in-depth understanding of this work before you can identify the strongest questions to ask them in their interview. As a good example of this, we’ll stick with that project manager position. Let’s say that it is a long term position that requires working with a small group of experienced employees. Let’s say that one part of this job involves a bit of liaison work between several offices. That tells you that this person has to be very organized and capable of tremendous flexibility and communication.
You might ask them something like the following:
What resources and methods would you use when communicating with an array of different project participants?
This is just one example, but it shows that asking only general questions gets general answers. When you want the “right” person for a job, ask the right questions.


Works Cited
Sturt, David. Are You Asking the Right Question? Forbes. 2013.


By Zahra Madan