How to reduce office conflict

Office conflict has long been one of the leading headache inducing issues for business owners and HR Managers alike. From personality clashes to what’s perceived as workplace favouritism, office conflict isn’t just a drain on productivity but can ultimately lead to good members of staff leaving their roles.

A recent report has highlighted the top reasons for office conflict and how this can affect the motivation and overall well-being of employees.

Topping the list comes uneven workloads or differences in working hours where some staff feel that they are unfairly having to take on more work or stay longer at the office than their colleagues. Over 30% of the full and part-time employees that took part in the study stated that this was a problem in their organisation.

Problems regarding friendship groups and workplace gossip came in second place with favouritism being a close third. Interestingly, 1 in 3 employees said that they had noticed preferential treatment and better career progression and promotion opportunities was given to certain members of staff although the reasons given for this vary.

Unsurprisingly, differences in salary also featured in the main reasons for office conflict.

So how can an employer help remedy office conflict issues and retain a happy and motivated workforce?

We’re all in this together
Fostering a culture in any business where each employee knows that they are all pulling together to meet the same goal (namely the overall success of the business) is key to resolving office conflict issues.

Sharing workloads as evenly and fairly as possible to avoid any feelings of unfairness or heaping unnecessary stress on certain individuals definitely helps all employees to feel that they are all treated equally.

Colleague relations
You’re never going to totally remove the issue of office gossip, but by giving employees the opportunity to socialise during work hours or even at out of hours events can help team members who don’t necessarily have that much to do with each other start to build professional relationships.

If personality clashes and idle gossip have become a problem for you in the past, it might be worth reminding your staff on your procedures for workplace bullying and that your business focuses upon professionalism and respect for all team members.

Ensuring equal treatment
Equal treatment regarding fair pay, promotion and career progression isn’t just a way of avoiding office conflict – equal treatment is required by law. Take a look at how you decide who to promote or progress with training to see if there is any bias and take immediate steps to remove it.

Make sure these efforts to ensure equal treatment are communicated to staff on a regular basis so there’s absolutely no question of favouritism.

Not only will this result in a happier workforce, but you’ll also steer clear of any legal pitfalls.

For more information on how to reduce office conflict and other staff retention tips, contact the Appointments team today.