Using Technology to Help Resolve Employee Conflicts

1 January 2018

Anonymous polling software allows company leaders to ask questions or lead discussions by embedding questions into presentations and enabling individuals to respond anonymously via a clicker or smartphone. The software instantly tallies responses and presents results in aggregate form via a chart during the presentation. Here are some of the advantages of this approach:

• Anonymous polling promotes open discussions: It might seem like a contradiction since anonymity is inherently non-transparent, but carefully crafted questions and the open sharing of combined responses lets everyone know exactly what the issues are. anonymous polling allows company leaders to define the conflict in clear terms and discuss alternatives.

Anonymous polling gives every employee a voice: One of the pitfalls of discussions in an all-hands-on-deck meeting is that the conversation tends to be dominated by the most outspoken individuals, and they may not represent popular opinion. With anonymous polling through response technology, even people who typically avoid the limelight have their say, and employees can contribute their two cents without fearing repercussions from managers or peers with whom they disagree. Anonymous polling lets everyone know where the group stands: In the heat of a conflict, perceptions tend to get skewed, and sometimes it’s hard to determine what the prevalent opinion is on any given topic. A meeting where employees contribute their opinions anonymously in response to questions presented onscreen provides a quick snapshot of where everyone stands. This information can be invaluable to executives tasked with driving consensus.

Anonymous polling signals when consensus is reached: Just as juries tasked with reaching a verdict may take votes periodically to determine where members are, leaders who are attempting to create consensus on potentially divisive issues may benefit from a reality check in the form of an anonymous poll. It can also be helpful to take a baseline pulse via a poll at the beginning of the meeting and periodic polls to view how much progress has been achieved.

Building Relationships: Building relationships can be done by adding employees to a group where people can work together, brainstorm ideas and ultimately to build relationships between employees. Issues can perhaps be addressed on groups by the employees as a whole. Being part of a group ensures that all employees are on the same page and know what is going on in a business.

Although at the present time there are limited methods in which Volkswagen is able to deal with conflict in the future there may future methods created which could help deal with conflict using technology.

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