Conflict Management in Multi-Generational Workforce


Imagine that you manage a department in a health care organization of your choosing. The organization recently merged with another, layoffs occurred, and departments are now being consolidated. Your department now has employees whose ages span four generations, three different cultural groups are represented, and conflict is brewing between them. The conflict is affecting performance, shift scheduling, and cooperation with other departments.

Write a 700- to 1,050-word directive to address these conflicts. Do the following in your directive:

  • Assess the situation that your department is facing.
  • Create clear and reasonable expectations and goals to achieve cohesion, cooperation, and communication in your department.
  • Lay out a strategy to overcome these conflicts and improve workplace performance.
  • Explain how success will be measured based on your strategy and goals.
  • Consider using tables, matrices, or other visuals.
  • Evaluate what leadership traits you need to incorporate in order to lead your diverse department.

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Conflict Management in Multi-Generational Workforce In My Department

Situation Assessment

            Having recently merged with another organization and departments being consolidated, my department now has employees whose ages span four generations and three different cultural groups are represented. Whereas diversity in a workplace is beneficial to an organization, if not managed properly, the unique differences can pose challenges such as the conflicts brewing between the within the workplace. The conflict is negatively affecting performance, shift scheduling, and cooperation with other departments. As a department manager, I will not seek to merely resolve the brewing conflict but will also emphasize creating a workplace environment that promotes inclusivity and cohesion.

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Expectations and Goals to Achieve Cohesion, Cooperation, and Communication           

Given the conflict brewing within the department and its adverse effects, my management goals and expectations will include establishing an organizational culture that emphasizes tolerance and inclusivity, team-spirit, and cultivating strong relationships based on trust. Meeting these set expectations and goals will see the department achieve improved cooperation, communication, and cohesion.This necessitates the formulation and implementation of a viable strategy to overcome conflicts and improve workforce performance.

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Strategy to Overcome Conflicts and Improve Performance

Identify and define underlying issuesThe first step to remedying the diversity issues in the department is to identify their root cause. It is only through accurately identifying and defining the workplace issues to inform strategies for creating an environment characterized by acceptance and equal opportunity for all employees (Shaban, 2016). As a department manager, I will seek to identify the challenges and differences among the diverse workforce. Identification of diversity issues leads to the next step.
Developing, Communicating, and Adhering to Departmental Policies.One way of dealing with employee conflicts stemming from diversity in the workplace is reviewing existing policies to develop and implement new ones that support inclusivity and cooperation. Tailoring policies to address issues at hand allows an organization to overcome conflicts, which in turn leads to increased productivity (Shaban, 2016). Thus, developing, communicating, and adhering to tailor-made departmental policies will promote a culture of acceptance within the department.
Providing Employee Diversity TrainingDiversity training programs can benefit the department in a number of ways. Some of the benefits include increased productivity, engagement levels, and retention rate. The training will be provided as stand-alone programs, or the intended learnings can be integrated into other initiatives (Gupta, 2020). The programs should also aim to provide opportunities for the diverse workforce to mentor one another and collaborate daily on different projects. This serves as an effective approach to bridge the gap between employees of different age groups and cultural backgrounds (Shaban, 2016). Consequently, this promotes the establishment of healthy relationships, thereby facilitating team spirit.
Holding Employees Accountable for their ActionsNon-compliance with established diversity policies by employees need to be addressed quickly and efficiently if the strategy is to bear the desired results. Thus, part of the implementation process entails providing victims of prejudice and discrimination with a channel through which they can report abuses without fear of retribution (Gupta, 2020). Once an incidence has been reported, perpetrators must be held responsible for their actions but after establishing conclusive evidence that they behaved wrongly.
  • Tools for managing diversity for managers include:
  • Understanding discrimination and its consequences.
  • Ability to recognize prejudices and biases.
  • Developing, maintaining, and implementing ongoing diversity training.
  • Promoting a friendly environment for employees to communicate.
  • Implementing policies that will allow employees to interact and access information as well as opportunities.

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Measuring Success

 Measuring success will be based on how well the above-described strategy impacts employee relationships in terms of cohesion, cooperation, and communication. Desired results will be exhibited through the enhancement of the identified goals and expectations. Therefore, performance measurement indicators will include:

  • Tolerance and inclusivity.
  • Multi-generational employee relationships.
  • Team spirit within the department.
  • Communications between employees.

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A positive outcome is one that improves the three aspects. Notably, this will consequently improve the relationships between the employees, which will, in turn, minimize conflicts, thereby improving performance. Schreier, Udomkit, and Capone (2019) elucidate that reduced conflicts translate to improved productivity through improved employee morale and enhanced teamwork and collaborations.

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Leadership Traits           

Leading a diverse department requires a blend of transformational leadership and change leadership. A transformational leader is well suited to work with teams to identify the needed change, create a strategy to guide through the change, and inspire the team to embrace the change (Miranda & Allen, 2017). On the other hand, change leadership skills will help me influence and enthuse the department by building a reliable platform for the much-needed change. Other essential traits include effective communication, emotional intelligence, and resilience.

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