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What Causes Workplace Conflicts & How to Manage It

In the majority of cases, workplace conflict occurs because of poor communication. This can result in a difference in communication styles or a failure to communicate. For instance, if a manager assigned an employee’s task to the employee’s co-worker but fails to communicate the reassignment to the employee, all of this can make the employee feel slighted and transform into animosity among the two employees and the manager.

As you can see, failing to communicate in the workplace may also cause the employees to make incorrect assumptions about each other and/or believe workplace gossip. Again, it is the poor communication which not only causes concern in the workplace, but also decreases productivity and employee morale.

Common Types of Workplace Conflict

Below, we are listing the most common types of workplace conflict which are present in almost every organization, regardless of its size or type.

Personality Clashes

One of the most common reasons for workplace conflict is the difference in personalities among employees. For example, if employees have different experiences or come from different backgrounds, all of this could play a role in shaping their personalities. When these employees fail to understand or accept the differences in each other’s personalities, problems start arising.

Different Work Styles and Values

Another common cause of conflict in the workplace are the different work styles and values. A difference in values is clearly evident when a generational gap is present. Young workers, for instance, may possess a different skill set and other values than older workers. The difference does not necessarily lead to a conflict but the failure to accept the differences is definitely doing that.

Unhealthy Workplace Competition

This is a major cause of employee conflict. Some industries foster competitive environments more than others. But when salary is linked to employee production, a workplace may experience strong competition between employees. This can again lead to sabotages, insults and create a hostile work environment, promoting individualism.

How to Deal with These Issues?

At the end of the day, workplace conflict is inevitable when employees of various backgrounds or different work styles are brought together for a shared business purpose. The bad thing about conflict is the fact that it can extend and involve other people. This is why it should be managed and resolved — or at best prevented.

In many organizations, there is definitely some opportunity to take and strengthen employee relations. Still, there are a few steps to take in order to do this. What we advise is the following:

  • Ensure fair and just treatment by management
  • Maintain constant interaction and open communication with employees
  • Minimize job boredom and monotony
  • Reward your employees for doing their job well and achieving their goals
  • Offer a competitive compensation package
  • Respect your employees
  • Do everything to automate more tasks and make sure everyone is focused on their job

And when we are at the topic of automating task . . . 

At Employee Hotlines, we have been helping business owners automate their call center services and hotlines. Our attendance hotlinesharassment hotlines and professional call agents can all help you gather specific information and dispatch your messages in the most effective way.

For more details on our confidential employee hotlines, call us today at 877-777-6443 for a FREE consultation.