Resolving Conflict in the Workplace
I wanted to highlight some points of conflict we have had in the office and how they were resolved. There are cases where the resolution was successful and others where we needed to look at the conflict a second time to get all parties in agreement.
As you know, we have a formal policy regarding sexual harassment in the workplace. Each year the employees read and sign the policy and it is posted in the break room of each department (Heathfield). Recently, an employee reported an incidence of sexual harassment by a coworker. I met with the employee and took her statement, and I guaranteed her that she is safe from retaliation. The victim appeared very upset and was most interested in having the behavior stopped. She was afraid that she might sound childish by reporting the harassment and did not want it to go any further within the company.
She did not see a need to involve a third party or consider prosecution; she simply wanted to stop the harassment (Bond, 1997, p. 16).
I interviewed the accused employee and as required by law, advised him who had accused him. I informed him of what the accuser said and gave him a chance to explain his part of the story. He too wanted the sexual harassment complaint taken care of as quickly and confidentially as possible. He also wanted to meet with the accuser to apologize however; there were inferences that he blamed the victim for the situation (Bond, 1997, p. 16). I informed the accused that there would be no retaliation on either party's part and that for the time being, they should not be alone together.
I had each employee provide a written statement of their side of the story to go...