There is often conflict within your family, in your personal relationships, between friends and of course at work.  No matter how satisfying and happy your life is, it’s safe to assume that at some point, conflict will find a way in.  However, just because conflict can consume your personal and professional relationships from time to time, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t embrace it. When resolved properly, conflicts can mean stronger relationships afterwards, a better understanding and a helpful insight into the minds of those we love and live with.  The most common workplace conflicts can also lead to better work relationships. 

Workplace conflicts are common, and it’s customary for those affected to approach their HR department for guidance and for conflict resolution. If you work in HR consider these HR systems for people development. Here we’ll explore the most common reasons that conflict arises in the workplace. 

Conflicts involving tasks and projects

Employees who work in close-knit teams, who subsequently rely on each other’s efforts to complete the overall task, are more likely to suffer from workplace conflicts. If deadlines are missed or issues involving clients arise due to someone in the team failing to put in as much effort as other team members, then conflict is likely. Moreover, if the employee in question fails to take responsibility for their actions and allows the team as a whole to suffer the consequences of failed deadlines and client problems then that conflict will only escalate. 

The best way to avoid issues like these is to ensure that all work is delegated fairly and communication amongst team members is strong and clear.  

Conflicts with managers

Sometimes certain leadership styles can cause conflict with certain employees. Especially those who feel like they don’t benefit or are being penalised simply because they clash with their manager’s style. It’s easy for a shy and unassuming employee to feel victimised and bullied by a manager who is overbearing and always speaks their mind. Or for other employees to feel abandoned if their manager is so laid back it often feels as though they’re not present. 

Of course, we’re all different, but managers need to adapt, adjust and connect with their team as individuals as much as possible to avoid these kinds of workplace conflicts.  


We’re all different. Age, gender, sexual orientation, religion and race. However, if someone in the workplace is being deliberately discriminated against simply because of their race, religion, gender etc, then this kind of conflict is incredibly serious. In circumstances like these, HR will act swiftly and conduct a full investigation to understand what has happened and to prevent it from happening again. The last thing any business wants is to have its employees feel discriminated against, it doesn’t bode well for company image or employee retention. 

And finally, personality clashes

When people from all walks of life meet together, work every day in an enclosed space for most of their waking hours, it’s going to cause conflict. We’re not going to get along with everyone we meet. A joke that some staff find hilarious, others might find offensive. These kinds of conflicts are very common in the workplace, which is why it’s important for HR to encourage a patient and understanding work culture that benefits everyone. 

Experienced business writer