Getting past the personal stuff

Smaller conflicts between employees may just lead to larger problems
By Adina Lipsett
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 03/13/2012

Employees bring a wide variety of personal characteristics and life experiences to the workplace. Regrettably, some of those differences can impact employee relationships and, more importantly, job performance and company productivity outcomes.

While there is no way of listing all the personal issues that may negatively permeate a workplace, some may include: a colleague’s divorce, different conflict styles, varying work ethics and styles, a chatty colleague or difficult personalities.

And there are signs conflicts are at play, such as people falling behind in their work, decreased productivity, resentment among staff or increased absenteeism. Other indications include silences in conversation when a person walks into a room, colleagues no longer taking breaks together or requests to adjust employment expectations to avoid a co-worker on a team.