New research exploring the volunteering experiences and perspectives of people from the global majority. Find out more
Use this page to understand different types of workplace conflict, why conflict happens, and how to resolve it.
This guidance has been designed for people who manage paid members of staff. We have separate guidance on solving volunteer problems.
Conflict at work can be informal or formal.
Informal conflict may involve a minor clash or disagreement between two people.
Formal conflict may involve a claim brought against your organisation in an employment tribunal.
Every situation involving conflict will be different, but most tend to fall into two categories:
Examples of conflict include:
If you’re a manager, your team will be looking to you to resolve the conflict and restore harmony.
Conflict at work can have many causes. Examples include:
Often an issue can be resolved with a quiet word between individuals.
But sometimes you’ll need to follow your organisation's internal procedures. For example, if an employee makes a formal complaint against their manager, they’ll need to follow their organisation’s grievance procedure.
If someone is found (after investigation) to be harassing another employee, the organisation may need to take disciplinary action.
Resolving conflict at work requires many different skills, including:
Mediation is where an impartial person supports people involved in conflict to find a solution. It can be a particularly helpful way to resolve disputes between individuals.
You could train staff members as mediators, or use a professional external mediator.
Crux offers mediation services for a range of settings.
Last reviewed: 01 August 2022Help us improve this content
Charity Interns founder Maya Bhose shares how this innovative new programme is bringing new talent into the voluntary sector
New Charity Interns project will be hosted by NCVO and offer paid internships to people aged over 50
To mark National Apprenticeship Week 2023, Noama Chaudhry shares insights from her apprenticeship at NCVO and offers advice for the wider sector
As part of our Road Ahead series, we explore the issues affecting the people at the heart of our organisations
The voluntary sector needs to lead the way on flexible working and advertise all roles as flexible, with employers encouraging open conversations about how it can work in their organisation.
A new working group to look at the issue of flexible working in the charity sector is being launched by membership bodies NCVO and ACEVO with support from Starfish Search, an executive search firm
Get regular updates on NCVO's help, support and services