Professional Relationships: Conflict Resolution Between Workers and Supervisors


A professional relationship exists when professional help is offered from a competent source upon the request of someone who needs it. It is sustained by acquiring the strategies essential to create a rapport. These relationships are usually sustained by keeping a professional tone throughout the engagements. Personal affairs are separated from this kind of relationship.

Main body

The relationship between a supervisor and a worker is a two-way link in which all directions of feedback flow. Honesty in this link determines the excellence and attitude of the relationship that eventually reflects on the work performed. With a healthy relationship, the worker is motivated to do the work assigned to him/her by the supervisor. In most cases, the relationship between the supervisor and worker is characterized by; a two-way exchange of ideas, which is essential for the survival of a relationship. This facilitates the replenishing of the relationship. Feedback is another characteristic of a relationship done by both the supervisor and the worker. Usually, the supervisor gives feedback to the worker. The feedback aspect should be a two-way link. This enhances the relationship by keeping it in check.

Conflicts between supervisor and worker are usually triggered by the following; Partiality by the supervisor in favor of his/her affiliates. For instance, a supervisor allocates a workload unfairly to workers; while other workers are strained by a larger workload. His/her family members in the same category as the other workers enjoy free time at the workplace. This will cause a conflict between the supervisor and the workers.

Salary does not reflect an individual worker’s task. The supervisor tends to allocate more tasks to the diligent workers but it is not reflected in the payments. Failure to give benefits results in complaints about payments, delays, or misappropriation of salary and benefits. In some cases, the supervisor may delay tea and lunch breaks, water, and benefits related to injuries at work. In other cases, the employee is sometimes denied pay or benefits owed to him/her as may be the case when he/she works for extra hours. A supervisor may allocate a higher pay to one of the workers at the expense of the worker who deserves it. When the worker learns about it, conflict arises between the worker and supervisor.

Supervisors’ approach to workers should be good. Supervisors’ outbursts to workers result in conflicts. The tone by the supervisor may be condemning the worker. This is undesirable to problem-solving. A supervisor stripping a worker in public, shouting at a worker, or use of harsh language is not good in conflict resolution. This eventually leads to strife. Sometimes, a supervisor gets offended by the jokes done by a worker. Probably, the supervisor used to job joke with the worker before he was promoted, yet without notice to his former co-worker finds offense when he/she is joked at. Supervisor gossiping about his/her workers is intolerable. This does not go down well when the worker finds it out.

To resolve the conflict between a supervisor and a worker, one of the following methods can be employed. The supervisor may face up the worker or vice versa. Confrontation entails talking things over calmly yet at other times it may involve taking a bolder stance. One other way of facing up to the conflict would be a direct dare. For example, where the worker requests the supervisor to measure the amount of work he has done. A worker may employ a fair stand-by. For instance, he may decline part of the benefit payments to prove a point. Though the supervisor may loath a complaint, it can be a vital step in conflict resolution. Another way of getting to the bottom of a conflict is to skip the supervisor and go to a higher authority.

Giving in or evading the entire circumstance is effective in conflict resolution. Some workers may quit if dissatisfied with the implemented changes at the workplace by a supervisor. A supervisor, at times, may opt to ignore trivial mistakes to demoralize the workers by being all over. In this manner, the supervisor will minimize destructive engagements with the workers. Anger and emotions should be handled well by attempting to understand the underlying factors to solve a conflict. Listening is a show of understanding which will quench a brewing conflict. Expression of negative emotions should not be propagated at the workplace as it can be a cause of conflict between a worker and supervisor. Both the supervisor and worker should have mutual interests at heart not to fuel conflicts between them. A supervisor should give or accept apologies to end disputes. The supervisor should try to settle a disagreement with the work so that there is no need of engaging a higher authority. Evasion and hostility rarely solve a conflict.

Relationship affects service delivery to a far-reaching extent. The hiccups in the relationship at the workplace can be used to better the working environment. When it is poorly handled, it will destroy the atmosphere at the workplace. When differences are handled appropriately, it results in a healthy and long-term solution.

Workplace relationships that are contentious develop a sense of psychological separation between workers. Such psychological effects are; self-rejection and unworthiness. Controversy can reduce work performance. This is reflected in economic losses.

Demoralizing relationships at the workplace between supervisors and workers can be stressful to both. With either of them struggling to move forward, discontentment will creep in and force the worker or the supervisor to quit the job. When more workers resolve to such a step, the business runs short of the trained workforce which is detrimental to its survival. When the supervisor goes the extra mile to see and foster good relationships at the workplace by encouraging flexibility and interaction, it results in increased productivity and a satisfied workforce.


Unhealthy workplace relationship has the potential to interfere with the worker’s task, create distress, shame, and intimidation. The working environment for any employee disturbs the smooth and systematic flow of work, service delivery to customers and harms the name and status of the business among its key customers. Also, it tends to squash the dependability or credibility of the persons implicated in the relationship. Relationship tribulations cause stress, anxiety, and fatigue. This results in eventual low productivity. It may also lead to a drop in safety standards at the workplace, and decreased workers’ attendance. Positive relationships between workers and supervisors boost the benefits of employees’ to the business through maximum work delivery resulting in higher profits. Therefore positive relationships should be encouraged.

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BusinessEssay. 2022. "Professional Relationships: Conflict Resolution Between Workers and Supervisors." January 16, 2022.

1. BusinessEssay. "Professional Relationships: Conflict Resolution Between Workers and Supervisors." January 16, 2022.


BusinessEssay. "Professional Relationships: Conflict Resolution Between Workers and Supervisors." January 16, 2022.