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How can we work to minimise conflicts of attitude as and when we return to the office

With a recent study by Psychological Consultancy Ltd. showing that nearly sixty per cent of us admit to not keeping our cool when others disobey government guidelines, and with thirty-three per cent of survey respondents not sticking to the recommended twenty-second hand washing guideline regularly - there is likely to be an increase in conflicts of attitude as and when we return to the office.

So, how can HR Managers identify and mitigate this conflict before it leads to a breakdown of employee wellbeing, and subsequent disruption to workplace productivity?

Truly understanding that we all have a unique attitude towards risk can help to formulate strategies supporting the wellbeing of employees when faced with scenarios outside of our comfort zones. Each employee will bring with them their own way of coping with uncertainty and this knowledge of there not being a “one size fits all” risk personality will ensure a smoother return. To put it simply, someone with a very cautious attitude towards risk will quite frankly believe that a colleague with a more fearless attitude is from another planet. Therefore, in the formulation of your plans, reach out to colleagues with different attitudes towards the pandemic to ensure a more effective strategy. For example, an employee with a Carefree risk attitude will be less likely to consider the feelings of an employee feeling anxious about returning to their desk whereas a Prudent personality will want all the facts and data so that they can plan their return to work meticulously.

Encourage managers to pay particular attention to cues their team members may be displaying in advance of and during the readjustment period, and set aside dedicated time for managers to address these in order to overcome any repressed emotions which may lead to longer term conflict. Set up a forum for employees to be able to speak out and share their opinions in a safe environment. For certain risk personality clashes, employees may begin to resent their colleagues which can have a damaging effect on morale.

This ties in with communication. A robust communication plan is required to confirm all employees are aware of and fully understand the workplace set-up that they will return to. This is just as fundamental as the actual changes they will face. Ensure that all information is communicated well in advance of any changes, and make yourself available for questions your employees may have.

The results from the study, conducted by our Business Psychologists at Psychological Consultancy Ltd, highlight how individual personality dispositions react differently when facing the uncertainties of the pandemic. Risk dispositions can be split into eight separate Risk Types using the Risk Type Compass tool, created by Chartered Psychologist and CEO of Psychological Consultancy Ltd., Geoff Trickey. Geoff states; “Managing people is about knowing them as individuals. You cannot just have blanket rules, you have to know them, their capabilities, their attitudes. People who understand their own disposition to risk will have a better understanding of their limitations and how to balance them, which will in turn help to reduce possible conflict within the workplace.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Psychological Consultancy Ltd. .

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