Tackle Disharmony Head On To Improve Employee Retention Rates

How many staff do you lose each year due to unresolved office conflict? Invest in your team, and create a clear communication strategy to nip disagreements in the bud.

Employee retention is a problem facing businesses in all industries, due to the cost associated with replacing former talent. Organisations that are able to hang onto their staff tend to outdo similar companies with a retention problem by around four times in terms of profits. Another way of looking at the associated cost to a company, is that high turnover can be the equivalent of 33% of employees’ compensation package. So, clearly hanging onto your staff, particularly those with the most talent is a wise plan. But how do you keep your staff happy? One of the most important areas of focus is to ensure that your leaders know how to sniff out and resolve conflicts in the office.

Learning To Seek Out Conflict

A head-in-the-sand approach is a no-no if you want to keep your staff happy. It’s important to be aware of any disharmony that exists within your team and to anticipate any clashes before they even occur. Understanding the feelings and motivation of each individual involved in the quarrel is key to working out how to resolve it. Trying to assist your team members in achieving their goals, which ideally would also be those outlined in your company vision, will likely mean that you come up against fewer arguments.


Lack of information being distributed is a common cause of conflict, so where possible it may be beneficial to ensure that everyone receives the same communication and that it is delivered in the same way. Whether you choose to hold a team meeting, distribute a weekly video or type up a comprehensive email, if your staff all have the same details and strategy then there will be fewer complaints to manage.

Outlining Acceptable Behaviour

When it comes to workplace conflict, the behaviour of individuals needs to be assessed and dealt with carefully. People react to high pressure situations differently, and it’s important that a person’s natural passion doesn’t translate into intimidating actions that are unacceptable in the office environment. Make sure that you have a clear code of conduct available to all staff which highlights behaviour that you can’t condone. This may include swearing, raising of voices, or any form of discrimination. Your staff should sign this document at the commencement of their employment so there can be no excuse for not adhering to these basic requirements.

Investing In Your Team

Conflict will always occur in the workplace, but the key to great leadership is to use it as an opportunity for your organisation to grow. Where there’s conflict, there’s also passion and ideas. So, it’s essential to invest time in your team and help them find ways to problem-solve together. Team building events are a fantastic way to encourage collaboration between staff members who are having a hard time working alongside each other in the office. Activities that require the meeting of minds allow your employees to come up with solutions in an effort to beat another team that they’re pitted against. By working towards a common goal, this creates cohesiveness and reduces the possibility of conflict.

Being proactive is the key to resolving conflicts in the workplace. Learn to seek out disagreements before they occur, ensure that all your staff are on the same page, and invest in their future both as individuals and as a team, to produce better retention rates.