Four Common Causes of Conflict in the Workplace

Posted: 4th November 2022 08:03

Conflicts happen in all workplaces. They might start with a simple disagreement but end up escalating into an argument that causes bad vibes in the workplace and has an impact on team productivity. While conflicts themselves can be quite common, resolving them effectively is not as common as it should be. While it might not always be possible to completely avoid any conflict at work, it’s important that you are able to recognize some of the common causes of conflict in the workplace, to deal with the issues as early as possible. Some of the common reasons why conflicts arise at work include:

Resistance to Change

People will often get stuck in habits that are familiar to them and easy to follow. When changes are made, this can often trigger a fear of the unknown that some people are not ready to embrace. Change can often be a stressful time for some people and may result in conflict, especially between team members and management. If changes need to be made in your workplace, then it can be helpful to remember the feelings that this might bring up for some employees, such as confusion, denial, and frustration. Resisting the unknown can be natural for many people. A conflict management certification can help you with dealing with this situation and how you approach team members about change to better avoid and manage any conflict.

Poor Communication

Communication is an essential in almost every workplace activity. While everyone might think that they are good at communication, so many conflicts still occur because of poor communication skills. A lot of the time, there is lots of room for misunderstanding one another throughout the different stages of the communication process, especially when people are using email, or messaging apps to communicate rather than face to face. To avoid communication-related conflicts from arising, be clear and concise when speaking to others, avoid guessing or assuming, and listen actively to others.

Unclear Expectations

A job description that has an overview of the responsibilities involved will usually always come with any new position. However, it can be difficult for team members to become top performers if they aren’t being coached, trained, or spoken to in more depth about the expectations of them on the job. Each new position comes with a learning curve that will play a huge part in the employee’s future success. If an employee is not given clear guidelines and expectation about their role, this can lead to frustration and conflict.

Toxic Environment

How people feel about themselves and others in the workplace can have a big impact on their productivity and their relationships with colleagues. Some companies go the extra mile to make it easy for employees to love working there and create a great environment, but others do not. Ultimately, however, how employees are treated, and how valued they feel at work is one of the biggest contributors to a positive rather than toxic environment at work, no matter how many fun things to do you might put in the office or break room.

Conflict in the workplace is sometimes unavoidable. However, understanding why it happens and how to deal with it can help create a pleasant environment for employees.