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Conflict in the workplace is inevitable; how it is addressed and managed requires proper oversight with relevant solutions to diminish disruption and bring about harmony in the work environment. At times two or more parties are faced with issues not easily resolved without assistance. Swift and effective intervention is key to de-escalate growing tensions amongst employees. The success of conflict resolution rests in large part on managers and supervisors knowing what actions to take and having access to helpful resources when disputes arise.
Successful engagement of supervisor/employee relations begins with meaningful communication and a clear understanding of a supervisor’s role and responsibilities to lead staff. CalHR offers a variety of training resources that address communication and conflict resolution, beginning with supervisory training designed to equip supervisors with skills and tools necessary for strong leadership and strategies for maintaining a healthy, productive work environment. Training, whether as a routine part of staff development or as an approach to address performance or disciplinary issues, is recommended as an effective management strategy.
CalHR Supervisor Training Resources:
CalHR Training Resources for Staff Development:
The State's Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides a variety of resources for supervisors and managers that promote employee health and wellbeing, as well as communication support:
Employees experiencing workplace conflict may need additional help and resources to address the impact of conflict and learn techniques for handling uncomfortable or difficult situations, or to heal once a conflict has resolved. Whether for working through issues that may have an effect on work performance, developing healthy relationships with co-workers and supervisors, or broadening communication skills, resources are available to employees who wish to seek additional assistance and/or training.
CalHR Training Opportunities for Employees:
Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Resources for Employees:
Professional assistance may be needed when conflict is unable to be resolved at lower levels of supervisory and staff relationships. Conflict resolution and mediation services are available to provide department supervisory, management, Human Resources and Civil Rights staff with assistance and tools to address and resolve workplace conflict in a more structured but informal setting. Participation is voluntary, and any associated costs are paid by the department. Managers and supervisors are encouraged to consult with their HRO or EEO offices to determine the most efficient means of accessing affordable and helpful services.
The following training and mediation resources are available to all state employees. Some services are fee-based. Contact the service provider for more details.
Employee Assistance Program (EAP) AdministrationMagellan Healthcare’s workplace support consultants provide fee-based guidance and assistance for situations involving organizational challenges. Conflict Resolution Services are provided in a confidential on-site forum and participation is completely voluntary.
Training courses are offered through EAP to provide helpful approaches to overcoming team and employee conflict. Examples include:
www.eap.calhr.ca.gov for more information and details.
Mediation services are provided in a confidential environment where those engaged in conflict work through issues with the assistance of a mediator, someone who is a neutral party and can help with the development of an agreement that broadens communication and sets a foundation of solutions that work for everyone involved. The list of mediation service providers below is not exhaustive; CalHR encourages departments to consult the California Multiple Award Schedules (CMAS) listing for information on additional providers.
Recourse Mediation Services
Northern California Mediation Center
Important Note: An employee’s participation in workplace conflict resolution or mediation services does not prevent them from pursuing claims of discrimination. Participation in conflict resolution services by any party to an investigation does not negate the responsibility of EEO offices to fully investigate claims of discrimination.
CalHR Web ManagerWeb.Master@calhr.ca.gov