How to Settle Disputes Among Student Workers

By Danielle Wirsansky on November 27, 2016

The key to a productive work environment is one that is free of distractions and tension. This is especially necessary for student workers who can sometimes be more prone to distraction.

The more productive your workers are, the more productive your business is. And the more productive your business is the better for you as well as your workers who will 1. retain their jobs, 2. get a chance at a raise, and 3. get the opportunity for more hours and better benefits.

But if your student workers are distracted by things like petty disputes it will disrupt your productivity. So read on to learn how to settle disputes among student workers!

Nip it in the bud.

A great way to settle disputes among your student workers is to nip it in the bud. As soon as you notice any tension or see any warning signs that a fight is brewing, stop it right in its tracks. Do not allow the matter to grow or get out of hand. If you allow it to brew it will just get bigger and be even harder to settle.

It does not matter what you do; you can choose a tactic that you think is most appropriate for the occasion. You can call one of the student workers out of the room to separate them or make them get back to work or even change the topic of conversation. Do what you have to do to stop the dispute right in its tracks before it can grow to something deadly.

Hear them out.

When an argument stirs up and it gets a little heated, both sides can be frustrated. Sometimes, a better tactic than just shutting it down and sending the two student workers on their way is to hear what each has to say. Allowing them to both speak their piece can help to eliminate brooding and help them to get over their grievances that much faster.

Giving them the opportunity to vent can help to clear the air and help you get to the bottom of a situation that much faster. Often just being given the opportunity to tell the other student worker how they are feeling and why can help to heal the tension. Let them get the bad feelings out and work from there in order to settle their dispute.

Do not take sides.

It is often necessary to discuss what is in dispute among your student workers. Why are they even fighting? Sometimes you need to get involved in their business in order to resolve it because it is your business at stake. You cannot allow their antics to put your business at risk. Try not to get involved too deeply into their affairs because there should be a line between bosses and their employees. Let them each tell you their side of the story.

Think of the bible story of King Solomon. The story says that two women came before the King, each claiming to be the mother of a baby boy. Neither would budge on the matter. So the King called for a sword to be brought and decreed that the child would be cut in half so that each mother could have half of the infant.

The first woman agreed. Fair was fair after all. But the second woman refused, even going so far as to offer the child to the other woman because she would rather it be alive with the other than dead. The King awarded the child to the woman that would have given it up to save its life because she had been selfless.

You too must be like King Solomon. You must be an impartial judge who parses out what the truth is and discovers who is in the wrong. And you must do so without taking sides. It can be difficult to abstain or you might think it is clear who is right and who is wrong. However, you must try to be as clear headed and fair about the situation. And if it is impossible for you not to take a side, at least give a semblance of impartiality.

Explain your no disputes policy.

If the same student worker continually gets involved in disputes or if a certain dispute does not seem to be able to be put to rest between some of the workers, inform them of your no disputes policy. If they cannot get their act together and get their work done — if their dispute is affecting their work to the point that it is affecting their business — you can let them know that all parties involved will be punished, reprimanded, or even have their jobs terminated. They need to have everything together because such antics are not acceptable in the work place.

By Danielle Wirsansky

Uloop Writer
Florida State University
Danielle Wirsansky graduated from FSU with a BA in Theatre, a BA in Creative Writing with a minor in History, and an MA in Modern European History with a minor in Public History. While a graduate student, she served as the Communications Officer for the History Graduate Student Association and President/Artistic Director of White Mouse Theatre Productions. She studied abroad in London, England for the Spring 2015 semester at FSU's study center for the Playwriting Program and interned for the English National Theatre of Israel in Summer of 2015. Her first musical, City of Light, opened as part of FSU's New Horizons Festival in Spring of 2016. She has also won the MRCE and URCAA Research grants from FSU. In the past, she served as the Marketing Director for the FSU Student Theatre Association, the intern for the Holocaust Education Resource Council, and the research assistant of Prof. Nathan Stoltzfus. She has previously written for Context Florida (Contributing Writer), USA Today College (Contributing Writer), Sheroes of History (Contributing Blogger), No(le)Reservations (Contributing Blogger), Female, Reloaded (Arts/Entertainment Editor) , I Want a Buzz Magazine (intern), Mandarin Newsline (youth arts update columnist), Distink Designs (Guest blogger), (associate editor), (associate editor), Spark TLH (Contributor), the Tallahassee Democrat (contributor), Elan Literary Magazine (Head of Marketing), and the Improviser Newspaper (Opinions Editor). Danielle has been lucky to be writing for Uloop since 2015 and to have served as the FSU Campus Editor since 2015.

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