Causes of conflict are a common phenomenon that every organization is facing all around the world.
Misunderstandings, miscommunication, disagreement are an integral part of the work culture but the problem is that when it escalates it leads to conflict that often impedes the efficiency and productivity level of a company and its employees.
Conflict often refers to the clashes, disagreements, and skirmish in the workplace and it affects team members negatively.
8 Causes of Conflict in the Workplace
When the employees in an organization are stressed it has a direct impact on the bottom line of your financial statement. It becomes doubly important to know about the common causes of conflict in the workplace and take viable steps to avoid them at all costs.
1. Fear of the unknown and resistance to change
There is a fear of the unknown amongst the team members. There are no viable reasons for it but it is a fact that the workforce is afraid of the management and does not see their ability to manage in a good light. One of the common causes of conflicts in the workplace is often the resistance that employees show to change. They want to stick with a familiar path and if anything unfamiliar occurs in the work environment it often results in confusion, denial, and workplace conflict between management and team members.
It is the responsibility of an organization to guide its employees through the process of change to avoid workplace conflict. Avoid poor communication and tell everyone openly about the pros and cons of the change and how subsequent policies and training will lead people towards a better work environment. Everyone should need to understand the reasons behind the change and how it can create a new start for them.
2. Poor work habits
Certain individual habits can be harmful and can be a cause of conflict in the workplace. These might be even harmless like being extra diligent in work and keep on rechecking the file. It is important to pay attention and nip them in the bud before it can cause the team irritation and create conflict.
Identify poor work habits and ask yourself how it is possible to bring about a positive change. If necessary take help of counseling or talk to team members to come up with a viable solution to avoid conflict
3. Unclear job expectations
Every new hire is told about his role and responsibility in the organization beforehand. It is a fact that in most cases it is not detailed and clear. It becomes difficult for a new employee to understand the way to do his job effectively especially in the beginning. Unclear job expectations are one of the common causes of conflict in the workplace. It applies to both new hires and existing employees who are unsure about their role even after years of service.
It becomes important to offer coaching and the necessary training so that the employees can use this learning curve as their stepping stone to a successful future. The first step is to provide information related to direct responsibilities, company culture and work environment to avoid workplace conflict.
4. Poor communication
Open communication is a must in every company so that the employees can have access to important information and clarify doubts. The fact is that it is not always so and it is very difficult to gain access to the management. A common cause of conflict in the workplace is the lack of communication with team members and managers.
An important tip to avoid this cause of conflict is to be precise and clear while sharing information, listen actively and manage your verbal and non-verbal behavior.
5. Personality differences
One of the common causes of conflict in the workplace is personality differences. In an organization people with different backgrounds, cultures, preferences, experiences, temperaments, demographics, and capabilities work together under one roof. There will be a difference in their personalities but they must rise above individual status and work for the benefit of the organization. Sometimes it is not possible and the individual differences become so great that there is no longer any mutual respect amongst the co-workers. This has a direct impact on workplace relationships.
It is the responsibility of a manager to see that individual workers can ignore personality differences and resolve conflicts as soon as possible. Proactive managers will take the first step, consider both viewpoints in case of workplace conflict, focus on the issue at hand and address them admirably and quickly.
6. Poor supervision
One of the common reasons for conflict in the organization is poor communication. Some managers are inept at their job and do not understand the basics that will help them to manage. They are often biased and are interested in listening to only one side of the conversation. This will often lead to workplace conflict.
Make sure that the managers get enough time and the necessary training to hone their skills and become better supervisors to avoid conflict in the workplace.
7. Toxic work culture, abusive conduct, and bullying environment
Organizations, where the work culture is toxic, are often a curse because an unhappy workplace will spread negativity in the workplace. It is a common reason for conflict and has a direct impact on organizational productivity. Other reasons for conflict and hostile environment are the abusive conduct of some of the team members and their bullying nature. If left unchecked it can lead to serious repercussions.
Communicate openly, focus on facts and not rumors, and organize events that will facilitate active participation. Make sure there are firm policies in place so that abusive behavior can be stopped at the onset. It should be clear to every person in the office that a bullying and abusive work culture will not be tolerated. Employees must become a part of a happy work community so that they can feel comfortable and at ease in their office space
8. Misunderstandings especially related to policies and practices
A business organization needs numerous policies and practices for successful running. At the onset, it looks as if the more the merrier but later it becomes difficult to remember and follow them for the employees. Some might not be easy to comply with and sometimes employees do not understand them properly for effective implementation. These misunderstandings often result in workplace conflict
Business entities need to be transparent so that the employees can comply with the policies and practices and avoid conflicts in the workplace.