How to Confront an Issue in the Workplace

Read Dr. Rick Workman's tips on confronting an issue in the workplace.
Conflict resolution in the workplace is difficult, but necessary.

It’s never the most desirable outcome, but unfortunately, it will inevitably happen in every company. While you’re in the midst of setting goals in the workplace, some of your employees may not see eye-to-eye on these goals. With two strong, differing opinions, this can sometimes lead to a conflict that can sap the company’s productivity and morale. Business leaders agree that there are guidelines you should follow to best manage an issue or a conflict in the workforce.
Allow the Parties Involved to Cool Down
It’s like the saying goes – “cooler heads will prevail.” Take heed of this advice and wait until everyone involved cools down. It’s hard to have a productive discussion when a person or multiple people are hot-headed and not thinking the most rationally. They’ll be overcome with emotion and not logic. It’s prudent to give them some time apart first before coming in with solutions.
Ask for the Opinions of Everyone Involved
Don’t make it seem like you’re taking sides when it comes to an issue that’s causing strife in the workplace. Let each individual or party have their say when there’s a pressing issue. If they have a problem, ask them what their opinions would be on how to fix it. Show them that you care about the feelings and opinions of each member of the team.
Hold a Meeting
Depending on how pervasive this issue is, you may want to hold a meeting as a way to speak to everyone about it and try to promote understanding. If it’s something that’s widespread throughout the company, you’ll want to gather everyone together – even those who aren’t responsible – just to let everyone know that this is an issue that needs fixing.
Don’t Ignore It

It’s important that you don’t let conflicts and arguments continue to linger. The longer this issue continues to fester, it may find itself developing into a situation that becomes an active detriment to the entire company. You need to take care of these situations as soon as you notice them and have an opportunity.
While we all wish that these issues never become a problem in your company (as we do our own), we hope you understand that conflicts are inevitable and the best thing you can do is be prepared for them. Good luck on handling them – you may need it!

Rick Workman, DMD

Founder, Former CEO and Active Chairman, Heartland Dental

Rick Workman, DMD, graduated from Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine in 1980. After starting his own practice, he set out to create a world-class dental support organization that would relieve the management burden for dentists by offering them an array of non-clinical administrative support. Today, Heartland Dental is the largest dental support organization in the country. In addition to being the founder of Heartland Dental, he is also the past president of the Association of Dental Support Organizations. To read more about Dr. Rick Workman, click here