Conflict occurs when 2 or more parties disagree about a particular issue or course of action, and is an inevitable feature of any workplace.
Conflict can arise over matters such as:
Conflict can be between individuals or groups, and can escalate into a dispute when it’s not resolved early or carefully.
The Commission’s New Approaches: Cooperative and productive workplaces program provides parties with tools to approach dispute resolution from a problem-solving perspective that focuses on each party's interests and seeks to resolve conflict through agreement.
Problem-solving is a consensus-seeking approach that can be used in almost any situation. It is a way of working things out that has practical implications for how decisions are made and how disputes may be prevented or resolved.
The joint problem-solving approach steps through the following processes:
By applying the principles of joint problem-solving, employers, employees and their representatives can:
A joint problem-solving process enables management, employees, unions and other stakeholders to generate solutions together. As a tool, it can be applied to a particular problem, or it can become an integral characteristic of the organisation's culture.
To find out more about how the New Approaches process works, please contact the Commission at NewApproaches@fwc.gov.au.