Conflict is defined as a struggle between two or more people. It can happen because there are needs, values, or ideas that are seen to be different. Many of us will face conflict in the workplace, whether it is with one person or many, and depending on how we handle it, it can be a negative or positive experience.
That’s where CSC’s Office of Conflict Management (OCM) comes in. OCM offers employees and managers at all levels with a range of conflict management options to prevent, manage and resolve conflicts in the workplace. They have consultants in each region to assist with conflict situations, making it easy for anyone to quickly get support when needed.
Specific services include individual consultation, conflict coaching, facilitated discussions, mediation, group intervention, training and workshops, and awareness sessions. No matter your need and situation, the OCM has a service to help you. Employees are invited to learn more about it by visiting the “Your wellbeing” section on the Hub.
Curious about whether or not the OCM could help you? We recently sat down with three employees to talk about their experiences with the OCM. We have changed their names for their privacy as well as the people they work with. We hope you find their stories encouraging.
Why did you contact the OCM?
Sarah: Years ago, an interaction with management made it very uncomfortable for me to come to work. I felt I had been humiliated in front of my colleagues and I couldn’t get past it. I felt that management had singled me out. It didn’t help that the working environment was already poor. I had been crying at my desk and I spotted the OCM poster in our hallway. I decided to contact them.
Derek: I was witness to a longstanding feud between a supervisor and employee. This went on for quite some time until the supervisor eventually decided to call in OCM to help with the situation.
Rachel: I was working for a group that was experiencing some trouble with personality clashes. While they weren’t fighting, the group just wasn’t functioning optimally. I decided to reach out to the OCM to see what they could offer for the situation.
What services did you use?
Sarah: At first I thought I wanted mediation for me and management, but after meeting with the OCM and going through multiple sessions where we simply discussed my situation, I didn’t end up needing it. The discussions and coaching helped me to see things differently and to look at the situation from another perspective. By talking with a neutral party, I was able to put myself in management’s shoes and see that it wasn’t so personal.
Derek: I didn’t personally use their services, but I saw the benefits of their services in the situation I witnessed. The OCM was able to bring the conflicting supervisor and employee together to discuss the problems they had and to come to some sort of healthy working relationship. It wasn’t ever perfect, but it was significantly better than what it had been for so long. It was good for them and it was good for the team.
Rachel: We had the OCM interview members of our team to determine what the issues were and why they were happening. This was completely confidential. Key themes were then compiled and presented to us. The OCM facilitated a discussion about the findings, as well as the development of an action plan to address them. We implemented the action plan and it led to a much healthier and happier working environment for everyone.
Would you recommend the OCM to others?
Sarah: Absolutely! The OCM helped me move on from being miserable at work to being happy to come in. You should definitely contact them and if they aren’t for you, you can easily walk away. You are not obligated to move through the process if you don’t want to, but it’s worth meeting them.
Derek: As a manager, I’d say you can’t afford not to. There’s going to be conflict in the workplace, so you should do something about it. I encourage you to use the process when you need to and to tell your employees to do the same. They do a tremendous job. Does it work every time? No. But more often than not it does. Seek them out, learn about what they can offer you, and go from there.
Rachel: Our experience with the OCM was a very positive one and I’d recommend it to anyone who may be facing conflict in their workplace.