What Is Workplace Conflict...

A workplace conflict is a divergence of expectations, opinions, goals and or values, at your workplace, resulting in enough friction between two or more parties, to interfere with their morale, performance or optimal health. The conflict itself is not really a problem. The problem is caused when we ignore conflict or when we do not address it effectively.

Conflict is omnipresent. It is everywhere. It is O.K. and it must be addressed.

Conflict affects performance, leads to absenteeism/presenteeism and long term health issues.

Causes of workplace conflict

  • Lack of communication
  • Leadership styles of command/control
  • Poor interpersonal skills by managers and between managers
  • Lack of effective problem solving
  • Roles and responsibilities not understood and being adhered to
  • Non adherence to program and policy requirements
  • Performance issues
  • Managerial reviews
  • Audits
  • Quality assurance
  • No accountability
  • Lack of action by all levels of management
  • Lack of employee commitment

What are some of the cost?

  1. Hard costs

    • Sick time experience
    • Stress leave/insurance costs
    • Consultants fees
    • Legal fees
    • Turnover costs
    • Exit costs
    • Hiring costs
    • Training costs
    • Learning curve costs

  2. Soft costs

    • Lost creativity
    • Lost time
    • Morale problems and lost productivity
    • Time that staff will worry
    • Interview time with staff

Workplace conflict that affects your performance or health can be dealt with using several informal processes.

  1. You can conduct an Interest Based Negotiation with the other party. (See Negotiation Preparation)
  2. If there is too much emotion, intimidation or power involved; you can ask for an impartial mediator assist both parties resolve the issues.
  3. If there are many issues and many people involved; you can conduct or request a Workplace Conference be conducted.

Conflict in the workplace not only affects your performance but the performance of those around you.

See our ebooks on solving conflict with co-workers or for mangers; between two employees or a manager & employee or use workplace confrencing to identify and collaboratively resolve workplace related issues.


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