The Cost of Avoidance

I think it’s safe to say that people do not like conflict and will, oftentimes, go out of their way to avoid conflict.  For example, I will drive an extra 10 minutes to and from work, just so I don’t have to drive through a four-way intersection because I’ve encountered too many awkward moments of “Who’s going to go first?” and “Are they going to stop at their stop sign?”  Avoiding that intersection simply makes things easier.

This concept of conflict avoidance easily carries over the workplace, where we frequently avoid conflict like the plague.  Even if we feel frustrated or are overworked, we play out the same routine at work, too afraid to take action.

Business Impact of Avoidance

Many people are afraid of change.  They remain quiet, even when things are obviously bothering them about their work environment. However, pretending a problem doesn’t exist doesn’t make it go away. In fact, it only results in more conflict, such as the ones listed below.

Low Employee Morale – When people don’t address problems, they become consumed by their feelings. Anger. Dissatisfaction. Stress. Confusion. The list goes on. This simply adds more tension to a situation and creates a hostile environment for all team members. This may cause employees to not want to come to work, isolate themselves or even lash out at team members or customers.

Decrease in Productivity – When people don’t enjoy what they’re doing, they can’t perform at their best. When they are unhappy, there is an increase in time spent doing non-related work activities, such as gossiping, browsing non-work related sites or spending time on their personal devices.  A 2013 article, by Aaron Gouveia from, illustrated that “69% of the people surveyed in 2013 said they waste time at work every day.”  In Forbes’ 2015 evaluation, this number reached 89%, with 31% wasting an hour or more of their daily workday on personal activities.

Increase in Turnover Rates – The combination of an unhealthy work environment and a  lack of ambition may lead to increased turnover rates. When people have no motivation or passion for the work they are doing, they tend to seek employment elsewhere. By leaving a workplace, an individual may be able to find a temporary solution to their personal conflict. However, this doesn’t mean that this problem won’t arise at their next place of employment. 

Confronting Confrontation 

Regardless of who you are or where you work, conflicts will always arise. As a result, it is important to be confident about your conflict resolution skills. We can help with that. The Utech Group is an organization that can help you develop and strengthen the skills to address problems in the workplace.  Here are some of the ways we can help:

Change Your Outlook on Conflict – As uncomfortable as it may be, conflicts will always arise. However, changing your perspective can make a world of difference. Think of conflicts as an opportunity to develop and change, rather than something that hinders you. Only through change can growth occur.

Build Trust – Trust between people who work together is extremely important.  Once trust is broken, it is hard to get it back…but it’s not impossible. By being open and accountable, trust can be re-established in the workplace – helping to minimize low employee morale, lack of productivity and turnover rates.

Develop a Clear Mission – Along with trust, having a clear goal gives people direction and builds a bond between employees and the workplace. When people have a common goal, it helps to develop a connection and an environment where growth can happen.

Contact us for more information about conflict resolution in the workplace and ways to build trust in your corporate culture.