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An HR’s guide to dealing with workplace anger

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It’s not pleasant for HR professionals to have to mediate conflict in the workplace. Yet you never know how a high-pressure situation can affect someone or what is going on in someone’s life and often emotions flare up at the office.

HR software sight BambooHR offers these tips in dealing with an angry employee.

24-Hours

When someone is angry they often say things they don’t mean or will regret later. If you are able to wait to address the problem, give the person the rest of the day off and wait until they have cooled down. This will avoid them doing something when they are emotional they will later regret and you to formulate a measured and appropriate response.

A corroborator

Each situation is different but when you sit the employee down for a difficult conversation, consider bringing a neutral person to the meeting. They are then able to back give support in recalling details of the meeting later should there be a dispute and  provide moral support. Should it be a violent situation don’t hesitate to call security or law enforcement if necessary to ensure everyone’s safety.

The root of the problem

Sometimes an angry outburst is a symptom of something bigger and a small thing at work could be the straw that broke the camel’s back, causing them to lose their temper. Financial stress, relationship trouble or depression could all be weighing on the employee’s mind. Find the deeper issue and deal with that so that you can offer proper emotional support and avoid repeat incidents.

Do’s

  • Listen
  • Follow procedures and document everything
  • Provide resources

Don’ts

  • Tolerate abuse
  • Have an emotional reaction
  • Ignore anger

ALSO READ: What to do if workplace conflicts are taking up your time and energy

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