Avoiding a conflict tsunami at work

HR can help feuding employees manage minor disagreements on their own
By Anne Grant
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 03/11/2013

In the right conditions, the smallest conflict can ripple into a full-blown tsunami. Consider, as an example, a department of professionals who have split into camps and are no longer speaking to one another — this group has descended into a toxic minefield requiring external, professional intervention.

So what happened? Two key players had an altercation about work processes that was not resolved at the front line in a timely fashion. Although they initially sought assistance, management and HR failed to recognize the seriousness of the clash and failed to follow up on the incident.

The ensuing hostility affected the entire team, costing the organization contracts and credibility.