Conflict vs. Cooperation - The Price of Happiness

Organizations so far have been more focused on improving their bottom lines, with a lesser focus on employee welfare. However, workplace conflict, many a time affects the bottom lines. A positive work environment is necessary for reducing conflicts and improving the happiness quotient. 

The workplace is like a second home. We invest more time at work than we do at home. Working in a job that you find challenging and interesting may make you feel fortunate. But, even in all jobs offering complete satisfaction, conflict issues do crop up, in the collective office setup.

A human yearns for happiness in worldly life and all activity is done with the intent to be happy. Despite the yearning for a happy life why have conflicts become commonplace everywhere?

Conflict in the workplace is due to a strong difference of opinion between team members, departments, managers, suppliers, vendors, and sometimes customers.

Workplace conflict can be due to differences in work styles, background, and gender, personalities, skill levels, misunderstandings, closed-mindedness, passive-aggressive behavior also contribute to the following workplace conflicts or just poor communication. 

Due to conflicts, the spirit of open-minded togetherness so essential for a productive environment is completely lost. The entire atmosphere is vitiated with the concerned employees in mental pain; the manager balancing both the two sides and keeping aside as well as delaying productive management responsibilities. The performance of the entire team suffers since employees, who are part of the conflict do not interact with cascading effects.

The organization should address workplace conflict in the early stages, as an important component to resolve the issue. If left unresolved, they may turn into a much bigger problem later, sapping more time, energy, and resources as workers start spending more time entrenched in conflict than they do working on organizational goals.  It can also cause serious problems to workplace morale, productivity, and company culture affecting employee turnover, psychological distress, and life satisfaction.

Workplace conflicts can be controlled by coaching, consulting, leadership development training, properly vetting the right talent, communications skill training, helping staff contribute to a positive work relationship, implementing regular team-building exercises, and developing strong, transparent, fair communication channels with conflict mediation training to top leaders.

Happiness is not found through accumulating wealth, nor does health and attractiveness lead to the good life. Work that is meaningful and challenging can increase happiness, but the highest correlation comes from quality relationships with friends and family. Unhappiness leads to conflict, which leads to unhappiness, and so on. Likewise, happiness leads to cooperation (or less conflict), which leads to happiness. Hence, conflict resolution is very important for reducing stress and increasing happiness.