Conflict Resolution in the Workplace

How do they affect your workplace?

Conflict: it’s inevitable in life. From personal to professional relationships, conflict can (and does) exist. Despite its inevitability, many of us feel ill-equipped to deal with conflict, especially in the workplace.

According to People Management, the nature, volume, and intensity of workplace conflict is on the rise. It’s becoming a challenge for businesses, especially ones who don’t have the resources to handle them. Miscommunication, personality clashes, poor leadership, discrimination, and unclear job expectations are some of the most common examples of workplace conflicts.

Workplace conflicts can have significant effects on both an organisation and the individual employee. Decreased productivity, increased stress and anxiety, higher rates of absenteeism and turnover rates are all effects of conflicts—which is why it’s important to recognise conflicts as soon as they arise. And while it starts by being able to identify conflicts, part of an effective conflict resolution plan is having channels in place to manage it.

Understanding and recognising conflict and triggers

Conflict, if left unresolved, can create a toxic work environment that affects team members and the organisation as a whole. Having strategies to resolve conflicts and mitigate their negative effects on teams is essential in every workplace, big or small.


Mediation is a form of conflict resolution where an impartial third party (the mediator) communicates and negotiates between the conflicting parties. It’s usually described as an informal kind of dispute resolution, since it’s less formal than grievance procedures or tribunals. Remaining impartial is at the core of successful mediation, as it builds trust and allows parties to be open.

Grievance procedure

In contrast to mediation, a grievance procedure is a formal proceeding. When an employee feels they’ve been wronged, they can file a grievance with the company. Different companies have different procedures and rules for this. The steps for filing a grievance are usually outlined in a company’s employee handbook.

Training in conflict management and culture promotion

Conflict resolution and management training ensures managers and supervisors adhere to the same procedures and standards. Training can include spotting conflicts in the early stages, as well as what to do when conflict escalates. It’s important that your company policies and mediation procedures are clearly defined so that all staff involved in conflict resolution have consistent standards and documentation requirements to follow.

‘Immediate family’ only includes a spouse, de facto partner, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, or sibling (or those same relatives of the employee’s spouse or de facto partner).

It doesn’t include, for example, cousins, aunts or uncles, great-grandparents or great-grandchildren. The definition also doesn’t include pets, as much as we may consider them our children and part of our family.

Conflict resolution for a better business

While conflict usually has a negative implication, it shouldn’t be feared. Conflicts, when properly resolved, can result in growth and stronger relationships between team members. Conflict resolution requires us to engage in critical thinking, problem-solving, and build our negotiation skills.

By navigating through conflicts, we have the opportunity to develop and refine these important skills, which are invaluable to both our professional and personal lives. Learning how to manage conflict gives us all the tools and confidence to address future challenges and obstacles that may arise at work.
It’s worth considering hiring a third-party to assist in in conflict resolution at your organisation. Now Actually can help you set up or review a grievance policy at your company, or even train your team in dealing with workplace conflict. Get in touch for more information.

Book A Free Consultation