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Workplace Conflict Between Employees Affects Work Environment

  August 19, 2011

Seriously, why can't we all just get along? Well, as you know it doesn't work that way.

There are many reasons why people don't get along; cultural, gender and style differences, to name just a few. And when there's workplace conflict, it gets even worse. Workplaces are naturally stressful environments, and personal conflicts between employees can be both a cause and effect of this stress.

Some people just simply do not like each other. There are employees that compete for promotions, raises and recognition. Then there's conflict between employees and their bosses, bosses and their bosses, among executive staff members, the list can go on and on. Overall, the workplace is a breeding ground for conflict. Sometimes you may wonder how anything gets done! Not to mention, I'm sure going into work every day trying to avoid conflict with a co-worker is not exactly someone's idea of a good time. Employees can bicker, critique or criticize each other, and tension is high.

People often respond to conflict in at least three ways:

  • Shy away from situations at the slightest hint of conflict. They are hesitant to engage in conversations that could be potentially negative, challenging or heated.
  • Some try to overcome their fear, reluctance or anger by overcompensating. They react in a way that is often too loud, disrespectful or demeaning.
  • Being aware not all conflict situations are negative, some people engage conflict with an open mind and welcome interaction.

Workplace conflict, if left to reel its ugliness, will only further impair the work environment, such as:

  • Waste of time and energy
  • Severed relationships
  • Decreased productivity
  • Absenteeism
  • Violence
  • Accidents

By understanding the issues, taking positive action, and resolving conflict successfully, you can help make your company a safer and more enjoyable place to work.

Conflict is inevitable and natural. As long as human beings come into contact, there will be conflict. It occurs in every business. Always expect that it will happen. If conflict is handled improperly, the results can be damaging. Effective managers will create a well-defined process for resolving conflict within their staff and organization.

Keeping all of this in mind, as you create or revisit your methods to address and deal with conflict, click here to get a 4-step approach to solving workplace conflict.

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