The quality of our working environment and relationships has a significant impact on our wellbeing. In any workplace there will be many different experiences and perspectives: we each see the world in a different way. This diversity of experience and thinking is a good thing, but it can sometimes lead to misunderstanding and disputes.

Some workplace conflict can be positive, such as a healthy amount of competition between team members to reach goals. But negative workplace conflict, like bullying or personality clashes, can harm individuals and undermine teamworking.

Workplace conflict between can occur in many different ways. It can occur across a wide spectrum of behaviour (often broadly referred to as workplace incivility), ranging from a personality clash to more serious types of unfair treatment – like bullying and harassment.

As a manager, you need to be at the forefront when workplace conflict occurs between team members. If you don’t tackle this workplace conflict head on at an early stage, it’s likely to escalate. Our report, Managing conflict in the modern workplace, also reveals that managers themselves can often be the cause of conflict. It is therefore essential you reflect on your own management style and the impact your behaviour has on others.

Drawing on key behaviours that our research has shown are vital in determining the health, wellbeing and engagement of a team, line managers can download our guide to help proactively identify and manage conflict at work. It focuses on how to handle conflict at an early, informal stage – before issues escalate into serious disputes that require the use of formal procedures.

Download the guide

Managers play a vital role in determining the health, wellbeing and engagement of their team. Research (funded by the CIPD and led by Affinity Health at Work) identified five key behavioural areas for line managers to support the health, wellbeing and engagement of those who work for them:

  • Being open, fair and consistent 
  • Handling conflict and people management issues
  • Providing knowledge, clarity and guidance 
  • Building and sustaining relationships
  • Supporting development
Based on these key behavioural areas the CIPD has created a range of support materials to help you adopt a management approach that supports good health, wellbeing and engagement in your team by helping you explore and develop your management capability. Designed for anyone who manages people, the guidance and exercises are quick and easy to use. They can help you save time and get better results by managing people well – all of which is good for your own wellbeing as well as that of your team.

Build your confidence as a people manager

To build great working relationships and help your team succeed, ask your HR team to help you explore different types of management development, well-being and conflict management training.

No HR team? Take your development into your own hands with a free online course for new and aspiring people managers or check out the free resources on the CIPD’s People Skills Hub.

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