This is why your employees squabble in the office

A new survey from Cascade HR has revealed the top causes of workplace conflict

This is why your employees squabble in the office

From continuously burning the midnight oil to raising funds, entrepreneurs have enough obstacles to tackle without having to deal with their employees being at odds with one another. Fortunately, new research has unearthed the most common causes of workplace conflict. And the people behind the study have also helpfully shared some suggestions for avoiding productivity-draining squabbles.

Having surveyed 1,000 British employees, Cascade HR, the HR and payroll software company, found that the most common reason for quarrels between colleagues is that employees feel unfairly treated. In fact, one in three said that feeling like they’re working more hours or taking on bigger workloads than their co-workers had birthed many a conflict. Salary differences and workers feeling like they had been unfairly overlooked when it came to promotions are also causing tension. Also fanning the flames is the tendency for colleagues to gossip, spread rumours and form cliques, which makes some feel left out.

Fortunately, the researchers have also suggested some solutions for many of these conflicts. Given that employees feeling overlooked seems to be a major source of tension, Cascade HR suggests that employers recognise people’s achievements through things like employee of the month awards. It says these sorts of schemes could help tackle 19% of rows before they escalate. Similarly, having frequent pay reviews could help solve almost a fifth of conflicts. And since feeling excluded can also cause quarrels, ensuring colleagues are more welcoming to each other by organising frequent social events and team-building activities could prevent 23% of clashes.

Commenting on the survey, Oliver Shaw, CEO at Cascade HR, said: “Opening up channels of communication between staff and management to explain why things are happening is a key way of dealing with the frustrations surrounding these issues. Employers should be seen to be taking conflict between members of staff seriously.”

With the summer sun having finally arrived, we wholeheartedly encourage entrepreneurs to take the lessons from this survey to heart and, in the spirit off conviviality, treat their employees to a few pints after work. 

Eric Johansson
Eric Johansson

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