How to Avoid Workplace Conflict and Build Trust

Trust is the foundation of any successful organisation. When employees trust one another, they are more productive and cooperative. They feel safe to take risks and share ideas. In contrast, when there is a lack of trust in the workplace, conflict invariably arises.

The use of new technology such as HR information systems is being employed by organisations to help establish trust within organisations as they can act as a transparent source for all methods of open communication between managers and employees so that both parties know exactly what is happening in the business that they work for. 

However, there are many reasons why there can be a lack of trust in the workplace and one of the most crucial elements is due to workplace conflict.

Survey Findings

According to a recent survey from Cezanne HR, 47% of employees wouldn’t trust their HR department to help manage an issue with another employee. This is often because they don’t feel like their concerns are being heard or taken seriously. 

So, what can you do to build trust between all staff members and avoid workplace conflict?

What HR Can Do to Avoid Workplace Conflict and Build Trust


1. Take complaints seriously

When an employee comes to HR with a complaint, they should take it seriously. Don’t just dismiss it as insignificant. Listen to what the employee has to say and try to resolve the issue quickly.

If you’re an HR manager looking for ways to build trust in your company and boost employee morale, then it’s important to take complaints seriously and try to resolve them as quickly and fairly as possible.

2.Make them aware of internal promotion

If a conflict is too complex or difficult to resolve, then it might be necessary to use an external mediator. However, it’s important to make sure that employees are aware of the internal promotion process so they don’t feel like their only option is to go to an external source.

When it comes to internal promotion opportunities, many employees don’t trust their HR department. This is a huge drawback for companies as 48% of workers say this lackadaisical attitude will prevent them from trusting their HR. 

This is a clear sign that businesses need to do more to promote their internal promotion process.

3. Foster an open and honest workplace culture

Encouraging employees to be open and honest with one another is a key way of building trust in the workplace. If employees feel like they can’t share their ideas or concerns without fear of retribution, then the trust between them will quickly break down.

Creating a positive work environment where employees are encouraged to speak their mind is one of the best ways to avoid conflict and build trust.

4. Use of best HR information systems and Technology

HR information systems can help HR departments to deal with workplace conflict more effectively. These systems can help you to keep track of employee concerns and complaints, which means that no-one will be left feeling like their voice hasn’t been heard.

So, if you’re looking for ways to improve your HR department’s ability to deal with conflict, then using an HR information system is a good place to start.

3. Resolve conflicts quickly

Workplace conflicts are the number one cause of employee turnover. If a conflict is left unresolved, it can quickly turn into a full-blown dispute. This can damage employee morale and lead to a loss of trust between staff members.

With all this hassle, it’s no wonder that the typical worker is off for 21 days when they take time off because of stress or anxiety. 

Think about how much productivity you could save with better planning in your office environment? This highlights the importance of resolving conflicts quickly and efficiently.

6. Unbiased Behavior

It is important for HR managers to be unbiased when dealing with workplace conflict. If one employee feels like they are being treated unfairly, then the whole team will quickly lose trust in HR and other stakeholders.

The Cezanne survey found that only 45% of employees believe that HR would be fair and unbiased when dealing with an issue. This means it’s important for businesses to make sure their management teams are as objective as possible when resolving conflicts.

7. Know your employees

Employees should feel like their HR manager knows them and understands where they are coming from. This is a key way of building trust in the workplace. If an employee feels like their concerns aren’t being heard or taken seriously, then it will quickly break down any trust between them and other staff members. Businesses should aim to improve this figure by getting to know their employees better.


It’s not always easy to avoid workplace conflict, but there are some ways you can make it easier. The bottom line is that if you want to avoid workplace conflict and build trust, then you need to take a proactive approach to managing your employees.

Using an HR information system can help, but the most important thing is creating a positive work environment where employees feel like their voice is heard. Start by understanding where the other person is coming from and try to see things through their perspective as well. 

This will help you put yourself in their shoes and understand what they’re feeling, which could be a huge first step towards resolution.