Resolving Conflict in the Workplace Amicably

conflict in the workplace

On average, 85% of employees will experience conflict in the workplace (Essential Workplace Conflict Statistics in 2023 • ZipDo). It is almost unavoidable, but conflicts should be resolved as quickly and as amicably as possible due to potential aftereffects, such as reduced productivity, broken trust, and disengagement from work. As a manager, at some point you’ll end up having to resolve and reduce conflicts. There are several ways to help mitigate conflict and improve team dynamics while also improving your confidence in handling conflict. 

What Is Conflict in the Workplace?

Conflict in the workplace is described as a state of discord caused by actual or perceived opposition to the needs, values and interests of people working together. Some consequences of unresolved conflict are increased stress and tension, reduced productivity, low morale,  and employee disengagement which can lead to turnover.

Types of Workplace Conflict

An example of workplace conflict can be as simple as personality differences. When two employees have opposite personalities (or even personalities that are too similar) they may struggle to see eye-to-eye, which can lead to full conflict.  This could manifest in confusion between two employees or even complaints from them and others.  

Another common type of conflict is issues with management. Whether this is due to recent organizational changes, new management, poor management or another cause, this is extremely disruptive. This can result in gossiping, ignoring tasks and meetings, or verbal disagreements.  A few other types of conflict commonly seen in the workplace are:

  • perceived inequities – usually revolving around compensation or paid time off
  • poor communication – this could be generational differences or just communication barriers
  • differences in methodology – usually when employees have preferred ways to do tasks that clash with others methodology 

Ways to Mitigate Conflict in the Workplace

Even though there are endless reasons for conflict there are also plenty of ways to reduce or resolve conflict. One of the top ways is conflict resolution training. This should be done on a manager level and an employee level. It is recommended that this should be done either yearly or every other year to maintain knowledge and encourage proper conflict resolution. 

Another solution is improving employee relationships. Utilize team building, open communication, and training within a team and an organization in order to improve employee relationship and communication skills.  Strengthening leadership with managerial training can also help mitigate conflict, making sure leadership has training on resolving several types of conflict including employee/employee and employee/leadership conflict. Utilizing better hiring practices and starting employment right is another way to help reduce conflict.  Finally, make sure your employees have a place to submit complaints and let them feel heard. A good way to do this is implementing an Open Door Policy in your organization. 

Society Insurance Protects Your Livelihood

Remember, employee conflict is unavoidable, but it can be reduced and resolved. Use training, open communication, and empathy to keep workplace conflict to a minimum and improve employee relations after conflict has occurred. 
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