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Disagreements between co-workers are a common scenario in the workplace. Thus, they should be addressed to promote healthy working relationships. Conflicts affect the emotions and result in a tense work environment where no meaningful discussions can be conducted. This affects the conflicting parties, as well as the team. Such an environment results in reduced job satisfaction since employee relationships are strained, and morale goes down.
Consequently, this causes stress to employees and, eventually, lowers their productivity levels. Engaging in activities that bond employees together and encouraging them to understand each other is an excellent move to prevent conflicts. These activities include coaching, welfare activities, and team building. The management should be involved in staff activities as part of the team both at professional and personal levels. Management should show their faith in the employees’ power to resolve their differences even without intervention.
Conflicts between workers have been experienced in many organizations. An example is a case in a local government office where an employee argued with a colleague. The employee was experiencing some personal problems and had been remorseful the whole week. Thus, the colleague abused her verbally, stating that she was always in a foul mood and that no one would smile at her miserable face. The offended employee was in tears and went to her line manager.
However, she was shocked to realize that the manager was not interested in solving the case. This made her lose her respect for the manager, and she became no longer interested in her job (Donaldson, 2011). Employees who find themselves in conflict with their colleagues suffer from emotional distress. Also, they are often dissatisfied with their jobs (Doherty & Guyler, 2008).
Distress in the workplace reduces the employees’ morale. The verbal attack that this employee got from her colleague demoralized her. Encouraging employees to work as a team reduces the chances of conflicts. The management should encourage staff welfare activities to prevent personal problems. This gives them an avenue to share and assist one another. Today, the world is experiencing fast, economic developments and there are many expectations from employees. Coping with work and family responsibilities can be a cause of distress (Lee, 2008). The management should facilitate the resolution of conflicts among employees (Khan, 2009).
The issue of job satisfaction also comes up when the line manager ignored her report of abuse. She was also not satisfied with the job. In this case, she did not receive the support that she expected from her line manager. One can solve this issue by recognizing the worth of employees to the organization. Everyone needs a listening ear, which managers should offer their employees (Abbas, 2009). They should make employees understand by showing them that there is no good or bad person; people just disagree. Creating this attitude helps employees approach disagreement professionally. If managers listen to their employees, conflicts may not affect their job satisfaction. In this case, conflicts become part of the normal challenges expected in the job environment (Wall & Callister, 1995).
Emotions influence the job environment. She broke into tears, and this affected her performance. Team building is also a good opportunity for employees to interact and learn from each other. It helps them to separate their professionalism from their personalities. The management should conduct employee coaching to ensure that incidences like the one, in this case, do not occur. Coaching entails highlighting the personality traits of the team members and encouraging employees to respect each other’s weaknesses (Carter, Byrnes & American Management Association, 2006).
The job environment brings people from diverse backgrounds with different personalities. One should approach conflicts like any other challenge expected in the job environment to promote peaceful relations among the employees. Listening, working as teams, and developing a culture where employees share and resolve their problems reduce conflicts. Coaching promotes understanding and enables employees to learn and respect one another.
Abbas, Q. (2009). The Impact of Work Life Conflict on Job Satisfactions of Employees in Pakistan. International Journal of Business and Management 4 (5), 63-83.
Carter, G.L., Byrnes, J.F., & American Management Association. (2006). How to manage conflict in the organization. Watertown, MA?: American Management Association.
Doherty, N., & Guyler, M. (2008). The essential guide to workplace mediation & conflict resolution: Rebuilding working relationships. London: Kogan Page.
Donaldson, E. (2011). Preventing Stress in Organizations: How to develop Positive Managers. Hoboken, N.J: John Wiley & Sons.
Khan, M.A. (2009). Impact of Task Conflict on Employee’s Performance of Financial Institutions. European Journal of Scientific Research, 27 (4), 479-487.
Lee, K. L. (2008). An Examination between the Relationships of Conflict Management Styles and Employee Satisfaction. International Journal of Business and Management, 3 (9), 11-25.
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