Workplace Conflicts Every Enterprise Should Prepare For

workplace conflict

Conflict is guaranteed to occur in any group setting, and the workplace is no exception.

There are countless reasons for which co-workers feud with one another, some of which are very serious. Even if your team members work well together, the occasional disagreement is sure to arise.

Given the prevalence of workplace conflict, it behooves every business owner and HR manager to familiarize themselves with the most common types of employee dispute.

Taking the time to educate yourself will ensure that you’re well-equipped to tackle conflict in the workplace whenever it arises.

Workplace Conflicts

Duelling Personalities

Incompatible personalities are arguably the most common reason for conflict in the workplace.

When people who have vastly different world views, flourishes or work methods are tasked with working closely together, disagreements are likely to arise.

In many instances, business colleagues are able to set aside personal differences in service of fulfilling their respective roles in an enterprise.

Other times, however, personality clashes are so severe that bosses have no choice but to separate certain parties. This doesn’t necessarily mean breaking out the employee termination form.

Transferring employees to different departments or assigning them to different projects is often an effective way to quell this type of conflict.

Differences in Work Style

Every workplace is home to a wide variety of work styles. For example, some employees prefer to tackle one project at a time, while others have no problem working on multiple projects at once.

Additionally, some workers prefer to complete assignments well in advance of deadlines, while others have a tendency to finish things last-minute.

When assignments and projects being helmed by different team members correspond to one another, conflict is often the result.

If an employee who’s deadline-oriented can’t begin working until an employee who habitually finishes things at the last possible second completes his portion of a project, sparks are likely to fly.

Provided group projects are consistently completed by their respective deadlines, it can be difficult for business owners to reprimand employees who consistently cut it close with due dates.

However, it’s important for them to understand that their lackadaisical attitude toward work has a direct impact on their team members.

Similarly, it’s important for your more diligent employees to understand that not everyone is able to work at their rapid pace.


It isn’t unusual for someone to feel as if their contributions at work are invaluable.

However, when such individuals openly project this sentiment, other employees are likely to view them as arrogant and self-important.

By wantonly touting what they bring to the table, these employees are downplaying the contributions of their peers, regardless of whether or not this is intentional. While there’s nothing wrong with taking pride in your work, this pride should not come at the expense of denigrating the efforts of others.

If you spot any employees exhibiting this behavior, let them know that while their efforts are very much appreciated, they are still part of a team and must therefore respect the feelings of their colleagues.

Insufficient Contributions

It seems like every workplace has at least one team member who doesn’t pull their weight.

Unsurprisingly, employees who coast by and ride the coattails of harder-working peers frequently draw the ire of their colleagues.

To account for their lack of effort, other team members have to step up their game consistently and work even harder.

In some instances, employees who fit this description are genuinely ignorant of the fact that their approach to work creates problems for others, but this doesn’t make them any less frustrating to deal with.

If any members of your workforce habitually hang back and allow colleagues to fulfil their responsibilities, pull them aside and remind them that everyone must contribute for a business to hits its stride.

You’d be hard-pressed to find a workplace that isn’t home to conflict.

While some places of business have much high conflict levels than others, no workplace is completely bereft of disagreements and disputes.

Allowing grudges between employees to fester can have far-reaching impacts on worker happiness and productivity. The longer a dispute continues, the more ingrained it will become in your workplace’s atmosphere.

Fortunately, knowing how to recognize workplace conflict can prove invaluable in stamping it out before it becomes toxic.

With this in mind, don’t hesitate to take action whenever you encounter signs of conflict.

About the Author Jess Nielsen

Jess has spent years travelling the world full-time. Nothing else comes close to the reaches of this emotive activity...

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