Workplace conflict is an ever-present challenge when diverse teams collaborate. So, as a hiring manager or organizational leader, you will likely encounter clashes in personality and work styles. However, ignoring these conflicts can severely affect your company’s productivity and hiring efforts.  

Industry reports from 2022 revealed that 73,485 workplace discrimination charges were filed in the US, resulting in more than $39 million in damages for victims in federal court. The good news is that your HR team can avoid these heavy losses with a strategic approach to talent management.  

We highlight the essential HR do’s and don’ts to help you maintain a cohesive and positive workforce. 

What Causes Workplace Conflict? 

The first step to fixing workplace conflicts involves understanding why they happen. Many possible reasons abound with differing perspectives, including:

  • Communication differences – Team members may have contrasting communication styles that clash. For instance, new employees could opt to openly discuss an issue at a meeting or prefer to settle matters privately via email. So, there is no standard right way to communicate, and it is important to vary your approach according to employee personalities and preferences.
  • Vague job expectations – Managers/department heads and members may have misaligned priorities, resulting in miscommunications and unmet targets. A clash of objectives could result in parties working in silos, project delays, lowered productivity, and internal conflict.
  • Inherent biases—Unconscious biases and prejudice among team members could lead to inefficient collaborations, microaggressions, and disruptions. Inherent biases could compromise critical organizational areas, from recruiting to daily operations and offboarding. 

Essentially, workplace conflict prevention requires understanding talent dynamics geared at building positive relationships. Your HR and hiring team can better engage employees by providing relevant community support and resources according to unique workplace needs.  

Workplace Conflict

The Don’ts That Lead to Workplace Conflict 

Recognizing and preventing the underlying causes of workplace conflicts is equally important as implementing team-building initiatives. We look at the top red flags and risks in talent management that often lead to disagreements and disputes at work. 

Don’t #1 – Underestimate Personality Assessments 

A person’s personality determines how they behave and function within an organization. Personality tests enable companies to assess a hire’s suitability in terms of culture fit. As such, it is crucial to avoid underestimating personality assessments as a “little thing” in the hiring process. 

Gitnux’s Organizational surveys report that 85% of employees in the US face some form of conflict. Adding to the recent survey, 49% of all employees attribute the clash of egos and personality clashes as the primary cause of conflict. 

Personality tests in hiring provide employers with personal data for matching complementary individuals, which can shape long-term group dynamics. A personality assessment also identifies core traits like empathy and leadership abilities that enable recruiters to match hires with roles in which they can thrive. 

Widely implemented personality test frameworks include The Myers-Briggs Test Indicator (MBTI) and CliftonStrengths/StrengthsFinder. 

Personality tests can help prevent conflicts at work, but there’s a warning from HR: these tests might unfairly favor certain groups of people. So, it’s important to keep your team diverse in thinking and culture when looking at the results of these tests.

Don’t #2 – Ignore One Party

Multiple perspectives and experiences often cause disagreements and conflict. So, HR professionals must avoid favoring a single party by ignoring or overlooking the experiences of the other. A one-sided approach could further strain work relationships and harm your organization’s professionalism. 

Your HR team can maintain an impartial stance on workplace conflict by:

Gathering the facts and information from each party – Conflict investigation should include the time, nature of the complaint, and accounts from third-party witnesses where applicable. Compiling these details enables talent management teams to analyze the situation in-depth and non-biasedly for equitable solutions.  

Gaining an awareness of perspectives – Transparent communication with each party offers your talent management teams insights into the root of the conflict. Doing so avoids further miscommunications while building stronger employee rapport and acknowledging concerns and priorities. 

Propose fair solutions for each side—Once your team has gathered the facts and listened to both sides of the story, it is time to brainstorm realistic solutions. These would include short—and long-term plans that benefit both sides. Potential strategies include negotiating a compromise between parties and mediating mutually acceptable solutions like redistributing tasks among team members. 

Don’t #3 – Inefficient Follow-ups 

Every time you try to solve a conflict, you should end with a plan to fix the problem. But making a plan is just the beginning. HR leaders need to make sure everyone follows through on the plan. If there’s no follow-up, the same problems could keep coming back, and people might stop trusting HR managers and business leaders. 

Requesting regular feedback from each party after a crisis resolution discussion can help gauge each side’s stance on the matter. Your talent management team should constantly check in with each party to monitor employee relations and offer prompt assistance at the earliest signs of a re-emerging disagreement. 

It’s also important to celebrate progress by recognizing team improvements. This can include programs that reward good work, which helps keep employees engaged and performing well. Public recognition motivates teams to work towards common goals, stay positive, and help the organization succeed. 

The Dos That Prevent And Mitigate Workplace Conflict

A crisis prevention strategy is a key component in achieving conflict-free organizational operations. We share the top three preventative measures for promoting a harmonious workplace that inspires the most diverse teams. 

Conflict or disagreement concept. Men and women quarreling bickering, arguing shouting, blaming each other.

Do #1 – Eliminate Biased Hiring Practices

Unfair hiring practices sow the seeds of discord in your workforce. Doing so can dramatically increase the risks of ineffective communication and team conflicts. As such, it is strategic to adopt an inclusive approach to talent acquisition that creates a culture of acceptance, understanding, and belonging. 

For example, HR leaders could revise recruitment policies to ensure that they engage qualified potential hires of all backgrounds. Your JD is vital in the hiring process, and it’s best to give an appealing description to every top talent. 

Ongig’s Text Analyzer is a powerful tool that enables HR teams to enhance JDs at scale with less time through advanced AI. Your hiring team can boost time management by detecting the slightest traces of biased wordings, jargon, and poor readability with automated precision. 

The Text Analyzer also syncs with the latest DEIB hiring standards to keep your JD library consistent, compliant, and optimized. Using the Text Analyzer ensures that your JD fulfills Federal laws. 

As such, you can maintain compliance with the latest regulations from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). You can conveniently export the Text Analyzer-optimized JDs to your social media platforms or integrate them with your application tracking system (ATS).

Attracting the right people for the right jobs minimizes workplace conflict, as teams take a skills—and outcome-based approach to their roles. Outcome-based talent management models have become increasingly popular as they prevent micromanagement by driving transparent communication and innovation. 

Do #2 – Prioritize Immersive Onboarding 

Efficient onboarding provides new hires with the important information and confidence required to adapt to your company culture. It is critical in influencing work ethics, communications, and organizational relationships, particularly in the initial months of employment.  

Good onboarding should explain growth opportunities so employees know how to connect with your team and company. Your employee handbook should explain the consequences of workplace bullying. For example, it could mention suspensions, warnings, transfers, and even firing, depending on how serious the case is.    

Recruiters and hiring managers should also outline expectations and responsibilities to help employees fit into their roles. Doing so requires an informed onboarding program with hands-on learning and team member interactions. 

A good onboarding program can teach new hires the company’s core values for remote work through virtual tours. For example, you can show them a remote view of the office in action with pretend workplace interactions. So, this helps them understand their job duties and how the team works together. 

Your hiring team can further enhance the onboarding experience by:

  • Conducting ask-me-anything (AMA) sessions—These meetings allow incoming employees to develop trust with supervisors and existing team members. Having an AMA as part of your onboarding is fundamental to establishing occupational safety from the start of the employee journey while explaining standard operating procedures.
  • Presenting goals-focused onboarding/explainer videos – It is important to keep your onboarding videos concise while building an emotional connection with your hires. Videos that effectively emphasize individual and group objectives instill a sense of purpose while setting the right tone for healthy collaboration. You could include elements of gamification (e.g., a task checklist) to guide employees in hitting strategic goals. 
  • Encouraging continuous feedback – Your onboarding programs should encourage effective two-way communication that optimizes the hiring experience. For example, Netflix prepares personalized meetings that empower hires to share their unique perspectives. The immersive onboarding includes a buddy program that assigns a seasoned employee to new hires to familiarize them with the corporate culture. 

Do #3 – Promote a Positive Work Place

A positive work culture goes a long way in preventing workplace conflicts. HR departments and company leaders should regularly monitor everyday communications, practices, and company policies. 

A centralized database of accurate human resource management data can help guide a diverse, inclusive, and supportive work environment. 

Businesses can use data to support their goals while also celebrating each team member’s unique strengths and differences. They should include inclusive practices in hiring and managing employees to build more understanding and empathetic teams.  

Your HR teams should also ensure proper documentation and handling in every aspect of employee well-being. A positive workplace should prioritize employee needs, such as flexible work arrangements, accommodations due to medical reasons, and retirement plans. 

Ultimately, by retaining the best practices of a positive workplace, employees are more likely to embrace diverse perspectives, stay engaged, and stave off internal conflicts.

Why I Wrote This?

Ongig is on a mission to banish biased and boring JDs. Since JDs are the gateways to deeply fulfilling careers, they can significantly reduce workplace conflicts. Our Text Analyzer’s automated approach to JD vetting empowers your company to clarify employee expectations and promote lasting positive connections between every team member. So, request a demo, today!


  1. U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission – FY 2018-2022 Charge Report Submitted to Congress
  2. Gitnux – Must-Know Workplace Conflict Statistics 
  3. NeuroLeadership Institute – Lots of Companies Use Personality Tests for Hiring Decisions. Here’s Why That Can Backfire.
  4. By Kate Vitasek, Forbes – Outcome-Based Management: What It Is, Why It Matters And How To Make It Happen
  5. How To Prevent Workplace Conflict From Impacting Your TeamBy Forbes Council Members
  6. By Petek Kabakci, LinkedIn – Ask Me Anything”​ Meetings: An Effective Way to Engage with Your Team
  7. Amazing Workplaces – Netflix’s “Welcome Home” Onboarding: Crafting an Inviting and Supportive Onboarding Experience
  8. U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission – Prohibited Employment Policies/Practices

by in HR Content