Friday pizza lunches at the office, and the occasional team building session will bring your staff closer together, and create an environment that is conflict free? That would be a misconception. Conflict in the workplace can erupt even when, on the surface, everyone seems to be getting along. Some workplace conflicts simmer for long periods of time. You, as a manager, may be oblivious to their existence. And when the simmer finally comes to a boil, you’re blindsided and left wondering where the conflict came from.
In other cases, conflicts arise due to events, directives, or demands that are beyond the control of you or your team. No matter how proactive you try to be, not all conflicts are avoidable. And the impact can be significant. Research shows that conflict in the workplace can increase employee turnover, prompt employees to take stress-related leave, create quality control and missed deadline issues and eventually lead to lost customers and business opportunities.