The real cost of unresolved conflict in the workplace

Jan 24, 2018

Most managers have a natural inclination not to deal with conflict in the workplace. After all, it is easier to ignore something in the hope that it will go away. It normally does not. Employees can stew over issues for months.
Here are the consequences of unresolved conflict in the workplace. There are many sources of workplace conflict. But, the following tend to crop up in most companies:

  • Workplace pace for instance, faster, tighter deadlines, more diversity
  • Personality clashes
  • Difference in work methodologies
  • Issues around communication
  • Power plays
  • Emotional issues

It does not matter what the cause of conflict is, the important thing is the employer must take steps to resolve it as soon as possible. If not, the company will suffer the following consequences:
Consequences of unresolved conflict in the workplace
#1: Wasting time. Employees can spend a lot of time on a conflict, discussing their version and getting people on their side. This could largely affect productivity.
#2: Making bad decisions. When emotions get in the way because of the conflict, it could result in bad decisions being made.
#3: Losing employees. One of the employees involved in the conflict could get fed-up with the conflict and leave the company.
#4: Doing unnecessary restructuring. The quickest and easiest solution is often to simply separate the employees, which still causes wasted time and could have been avoided had the conflict not arisen in the first place.
#5: Sabotage and damage. Employees, angry that the matter remains unresolved, often sabotage the business, either directly or indirectly.
#6: Lowering job motivation. Employees involved in conflict get so taken up with the issue that they don’t focus on their work.
Do not let issues brew in the workplace. Deal swiftly and decisively with conflict.
Investigate the reason for the conflict, speak to both parties and the employer would be sure to avoid the above mentioned consequences.

Disclaimer: LabourMan exclusively provides services to employers.

The content does not constitute legal advice, are not intended to be a substitute for legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Kindly contact us on or 021 556 1075 to speak to one of our consultants.


Wallace Albertyn

Wallace Albertyn is a Senior Associate and Legal Advisor at LabourMan Consultants.

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