Disrupted employment relationship with an employee:  As an employer, you naturally want to maintain the best possible relationship with all your employees. This has important benefits for both you and your employees. Satisfaction from both sides is very important to maintain a good working relationship between you both. This ensures that the employees go to work with more pleasure. And as soon as employees have more fun, there is a good chance that they will also have more motivation to perform their work properly. So productivity increases and this is also in the interest of your company.

Yet it regularly happens that there is a disturbing employment relationship. A disturbed employment relationship must be resolved as quickly as possible. In the interests of you as an employer, but also in terms of employee satisfaction. As an employer, you are, after all, dependent on your employees. This article will deal with the causes of a disturbed employment relationship. The consequences are then discussed. The risk of absenteeism and burnout of your employee/s, due to this disrupted employment relationship, will also be treated.

Causes of a disrupted employment relationship

A disrupted employment relationship can have various causes. Some causes will be discussed below.

Personal conflict regarding a position

One of the causes of a disturbed employment relationship is often a personal conflict between the employer and an employee. A personal conflict can be related to the position of an employee. All people are different and everyone views things differently. Perhaps an employee has a different idea about how to fill a position than you as an employer. This can then cause a conflict to arise. Maybe you want an employee to do something in a certain way, while he or she argues that this is not the right way to fill this position.

Read also about an island culture

The conflict between two colleagues

A conflict between two employees can also cause a disrupted employment relationship with you as an employer. When there is a conflict between two colleagues, this usually ends up with you as an employer. This means that you as an employer must resolve the situation. There is a good chance that there will be dissatisfaction with one colleague. Maybe you don’t choose his side and he or she feels disadvantaged. It may be that he or she feels that the other person is being promoted. This can cause conflict.

Read also: Effectively resolve conflicts in the workplace

Personal conflicts

Also, conflicts outside of work may result in the existence of disturbing labour relations. This happens more often than many people think. For example, love relationships can cause conflicts. But you may also know an employee personally. Or are in some way related and there is a personal conflict. There can be many reasons for this. The point is in any case that personal conflicts must be resolved. This should not stand in the way of work.

conflicts at work

Consequences of a disturbed work relationship

A disturbed employment relationship can have nasty consequences. Both for you and the employee. Read some of the consequences below.

Lower performance

A disrupted employment relationship can cause your employee to perform less. The reason for this is that he or she has less motivation to work for you. This can cause him or her to throw the towel in, or cause the process to stagnate in a completely different way. These are things that you naturally want to prevent since this is not going to promote the work process at all. It is also possible that an employee will consciously sabotage things.

Also read: employee motivation

Stir up

There is also the possibility that your employee will start inciting other employees. For example, in a small community, this can happen quickly. This dissatisfaction can, therefore, radiate to other employees. This is sometimes called the mirror effect. The negative emotions can then be transmitted. This can go from bad to worse and you naturally want to avoid that as an employer. It is therefore also important to ring the bell as quickly as possible in the event of a disrupted employment relationship. In those situations, the chance is much smaller than it gets out of hand. Compare this with fire. A fire can easily be extinguished. However, when this becomes a big fire, the situation can no longer be overseen.


A disturbed employment relationship can also cause absence. Your employee can then consciously report sick. As an employer, it is difficult to deal with this. As soon as there is absence, you as an employer have a problem. On the one hand, you simply have to continue to pay the absent employee. But you also have to hire someone else to take over the tasks from him or her. This can then have the bad result that on the one hand, you have to incur more costs. But besides, this also ensures that the replacement may not be able to hold the position properly. You end up between a rock and hard place.

Read about absence prevention

Burnout as a result

A disturbed work relationship can also cause burnout. It can be accompanied by possible stress. On both sides, there is a risk of burnout. For you as an employer, because you have a lot of work to do. Running a business is often difficult enough. If you also have to deal with such relational aspects, this can, of course, be very difficult. This creates a chance of getting burned out. Something you naturally want to prevent.

A burnout never comes just like that. This is preceded by a longer period. But a disrupted working relationship can be a drop that makes the bucket overflow. It is important to never walk around for a long time when you experience stress or when you experience burnout. Do you think you can’t get it out yourself? In those situations, you can choose to seek professional help. For many people, this is a big step, but often it is important to make that choice. Because getting stuck with burnout can have far-reaching consequences for your state of mind.

Read the signs of burnout among employees

consequences of conflict at work

Tips for dealing with a disturbed employment relationship

Is there a disrupted employment relationship? Read some tips below to resolve this as quickly as possible.

Enter into a personal conversation

First of all, it is important to have a personal conversation with your employee. You often hear that many people try to settle it via e-mail. However, this is not a good idea, because it appears to be very impersonal and does not give an employee the feeling that he or she is appreciated. That is why it is wise to have a personal conversation in a good way. As a result, a person will feel much more appreciated and you as an employer will also benefit. A good personal conversation is often enough to improve the working relationship. So make time for this.

Also read: addressing employee

Open communication

If there is a disturbed relationship between two colleagues, it can often also be wise to involve the workplace. This depends on the size of your company. This is, of course, easier in a small company because there is a more personal atmosphere there already. But in many companies, it is also true that everything is very grotesque. It is then important that the situation is discussed in a certain department. Mutual conflicts between colleagues can also be exacerbated if the bell is not ringed fast enough.


Is it no longer possible to save the working relationship? In those cases, there may be the possibility of transfer. This is especially useful if the employee is indispensable in the workplace. A disrupted working relationship can then ensure that an important force is removed from the machine. This allows the machine to stagnate and this can be prevented with a transfer. You as an employer will then no longer be directly involved with the employee.


Is it no longer possible to resolve the disturbed employment relationship? In those cases, dismissal may still be the only solution. However, firing someone because of a disrupted employment relationship cannot simply be done. For example, there must be a disturbance. Moreover, this disturbance must also be demonstratable. Moreover, it must also be clear that recovery is no longer possible. When all these requirements are met, it is generally easier to fire someone.


A disturbed work relationship is of course never fun. For both the employer and employee. This article attempts to provide insight from the perspective of the employer. Insight has been given on what catastrophic consequences a disrupted employment relationship can bring about. The role of burnout has also been mentioned in the process. Also, some tips have been given. In other words: the options that you have as an employer are set out so that you can take appropriate solutions.

Who are we?

Milltain supports, with a team of experienced trainers, organizations in the prevention of stress and the (re) finding of work happiness in the workplace. Our training courses are aimed at managers within companies. A burnout quickly costs the organization € 70,000.

In addition to financial suffering, human suffering is great. Not only for the employee but also for close colleagues who have to deal with the blows. Before you know it you are in a negative vicious circle.

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