Conflict in the workplace is never easy. It puts a strain on you and your employees, affects productivity, and can even lead to lawsuits. But how can you avoid conflict in the workplace? The best defense against employment lawsuits and workplace conflict is developing a work culture where respect is a fundamental principle. It is important for employers to take a proactive approach to stop workforce conflict before it ever has a chance to begin. The proactive approach should start with each new hire; employees are conditioned from day one to understand the company culture and policies when it comes to conflict among the group. Here are five ways to avoid workforce conflict.

Create an Employment Handbook. Your organization should have an employee code of ethics or a mission statement of how you want your firm and its employees to conduct business and themselves. It is a great idea to include things like a code of ethics in the employee handbook and display it on the walls of the organization as a constant reminder. During a new hire orientation, get them familiar with the company’s business practices and business ethics that foster mutual respect between employees and customers. The orientation should include examples of proper behavior and codes of conduct with specific guidelines for acceptable and respectful behavior in the workplace. If conflict in the workplace should arise, your Employment Handbook should address the hierarchy of the corporate structure directing employees through the appropriate channels to resolve it.  

Provide Ongoing Education. Employee education is a proactive method to prevent conflict. Through education, empl