Scheduling Conflict Management
Do you deal with virtual teams across different geographical locations? Managing virtual teams and stakeholders is not an easy task. It is common for conflicts to occur when you are planning work schedules for people in different shifts.
Structured Analogies Method: This method helps to forecast the workforce demand by analysing the processes used in similar situations earlier. The structured analogies method helps to avoid errors that normally occur in the traditional forecast models. The structured analogies method helps in solving the conflicts by comparing the results of similar past occurrences. This formal method works in four steps.
- Explaining the current situation
- Pinpointing and analyzing the analogies - current as well the past situation
- Rating the analogies by comparing the current and past situations
- Deriving the forecasts
Do these steps seem familiar? This method works similar to the experimental method that we discussed earlier. The difference we see in this method is that it can be used in unstable conditions as well. However, this method works well only if the HR manager is able to derive atleast two to three analogies from the past situation to forecast the demand.
Intentions and Expectations Survey Method: The vacation requests from employees can create conflicts in work schedules. The intentions and expectations survey method helps individuals to analyze certain behavioral patterns exhibited by the employees to manage these types of conflicts. Remember, expectations are different from intentions. Understanding this difference is important while managing vacation requests. For example, it is easier for an employee who is pregnant to plan her vacation. This is an expected incident. It is not as easy to decide when the employee is intending to go for a dental visit. How can you identify this intention? By using the intentions and expectations survey method, you can also predict whether the employee is intended to take vacation during a critical time. Responses are obtained from employees for a particular period. Employees also need give assurance that they will not change their plans for a particular timeframe. This method is normally used in short term work schedules.
Game Theory Method: It is important to identify the behavioral pattern of employees to solve scheduling conflicts. A non-cooperative attitude of employees creates conflicts in teams. There are times where a non communicative employee create conflicts among project teams. For example, a person who is unwilling to work night shifts but not communicating it to his manager can create a big hole in work schedules. Frustrated, he may go on vacation during the important phase of a project. HR managers use tactics to identify this specific attitude in that employee. The study conducted by Keser and Gardner in 1999 concluded that game theory is the best model in forecasting the outcomes of conflicts among common pool resources. Even though this model is beneficial to HR managers, it works better when the scheduling conflict is due to the personal attitude of the employee.
Conjoint Analysis Method: If the employee is not happy with the timing or the location of work, it can create conflicts in the work schedule. In this method, a survey with a questionnaire is used to understand the employee’s satisfaction levels.
Analyzing the results of the survey helps to:
- Gain insights on employees' psychological traits
- Understand individuals' preferences
- Reveal the issues causing conflicts
- Make realistic choices for scheduling the workforce
Does this model look similar to Intentions and expectations survey or game theory methods? The errors in the intentions and expectations survey or game theory method are possible when the number of employees involved is too high or the time frame is very long. The conjoint analysis method can be used in larger groups and with long term projects. However, it is very important to utilize this method carefully. If the study is not designed properly, it may give the wrong picture or overestimate the psychological aspects or preferences of the employees.