Restore the Workplace

It is essential for supervisors to establish or re-establish positive workplace relationships after a significant conflict or formal investigation.

Affirm Your Commitment to Organizational Health

Everyone has a shared responsibility to restore the workplace. Each situation is unique and the approach varies depending on the specific circumstances. Restoring the workplace requires leadership commitment and intentional, sustained efforts to change the culture of a work team or organization.

Employee responsibility

Workplace conflicts affect employees' health and well-being. Even after a conflict or issue has been addressed in the short term, there are often long-term work environment effects. The effects vary and are felt even by those who were not directly involved.

It is normal to

  • Have questions and seek answers
  • Reflect on the situation and recognize your role
  • Seek short-term counselling and consider what happened, its impact on you and what you want to do differently next time

You might want to

  • Learn more about policies and develop your skills in assertive communication and team building
  • Talk to your supervisor and others to share ideas on how to prevent such conflicts from occurring again
  • Discuss how you plan to move forward in rebuilding positive working relationships
  • Take action in a way that works for you and supports a healthy work environment. This is empowering and will contribute to your own health and well-being, as well as your team's performance.

Supervisor responsibility

As a supervisor, you are expected to provide a healthy and productive workplace where everyone is able to meet their goals. Your greatest opportunity to restore the workplace after a difficult workplace conflict is leading and developing your team. Each situation will be unique as employees need different kinds of support. During this time you will need to pay special attention to changes in the work environment and what employees may be experiencing.

Conflicts between employees are rarely isolated occurrences. The conditions that create workplace conflict are often cultural and may take time to address. Resolving one conflict may encourage other employees to come forward with new issues or complaints. This is normal and expected.

Think about what to do if other employees come forward:

  • Do you have an open door policy?
  • Are you approachable?
  • Do your employees have the information and training to know the expected workplace standards?
  • Do you have regular conversations with your employees?
  • Do you have blind spots about other conflicts that may be occurring on your teams?
  • Do you manage employee performance?
  • Do you know what services are available to assist you?

During this time, focus your team's efforts on learning and team building. You may want to access services or training such as team coaching or short-term counselling. Make time for the team to connect and talk about future goals. 

To be effective as a supervisor, you also need to take care of yourself and your own learning and development.

You might want to

  • Take the time to reflect and think about what you will do differently next time to prevent an issue from occurring
  • Be aware of your own limits and boundaries
  • Ask for help if needed
  • Speak to your own supervisor and enlist their assistance to maintain the balance between operational requirements and your team well-being

Other Services to Assist You

Employee & Family Assistance Services (EFAS)

There are services for both supervisors and employees, including short-term counselling, available through your Employee & Family Assistance Services (EFAS) provider. A People Leader Advice Line and Workplace Intervention Services (fee-for-service) are available to supervisors only.

Learning Centre courses

The Learning Centre offers a variety courses for everyone to support building and maintaining respectful workplaces in the BC Public Service. Register for respectful workplace training or other courses to build your awareness and skills.

Coaching services

Coaching services can also help people build the skills and confidence needed to move forward. Choose from individual and team coaching options.