Conflict in the workplace is common, but if left unchecked, it can have an adverse effect on the business.
Here are three areas of concern with issues that seem simple enough to resolve, but which could escalate into employer-employee disputes.
An employee may feel he is performing his job to the best of his ability, but his supervisor only sees mediocre results. Sometimes, this is because the employee must take on a type of work with which he is unfamiliar. In the rush of daily business, employers might overlook the fact that he is struggling due to a lack of information. Management should make sure to provide this employee with the training he needs to do the job properly.
If an employee is outgoing and gregarious and her supervisor is quiet and soft-spoken, misunderstandings could result as well as resentment that could cause considerable friction. Other employees can easily sense such friction, and it may affect the working environment. In a company with a large staff and many different departments, this sort of uncomfortable atmosphere might go undetected by management, and eventually, the human resources department could see several complaints need addressing.
Discrimination and harassment
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 forbids discrimination and harassment of all kinds in the workplace. Small jokes are not a problem, but if issues such as harassing an employee because of age, race, religion or disability persist without the appropriate employer intervention, the company could soon face a lawsuit.
Avoiding business problems
Employee-employer problems are easier to handle while they are still small. When managed properly, the issues can even foster growth and a greater awareness of similar concerns. However, sometimes matters get out of hand and the task of handling workplace conflict requires professional assistance from the outside. If an employer and employee cannot resolve a dispute within the company, the matter may end up in court.