HR Tips On Dealing With Anger In Your Workplace

Posted by Kaya Johnson on Oct 29, 2018 3:22:51 PM

On a professional level, it is expected that employees would be able to effectively contain their emotions, taking all the outburst and frustration outside the workplace. Unfortunately, this is only possible in an "ideal" world, which, of course, is still a dream for all of us.

In the real world, it's very common to see tempers rising, balls breaking and frustration taking its toll on workers. Sometimes, these problems can easily escalate to greater conflicts, when underlying issues are not properly resolved. Dealing with an angry employee is not always pleasant, even for exceptional HR professional. Your approach can either turn things around for good or even make the situation worse.

Either way, anger is a destructive force and can be very harmful in the workplace. It can create a hostile work environment that will lead to poor performance and reduced productivity. Overall, it can hamper organisational success.

As an HR manager, your role should always be that of a mediator seeking to effectively address the situation at hand. While you're looking for peace and orderliness to rule, make sure you also listen to angry employees in order to prevent disgruntled behaviour in the long run.

Below are some helpful HR tips you may want to consider:

Give Enough Time

Most times when people flare up, it is common for them to say terrible things; some of which they don't really mean. As a result, it is not often advisable to address a problem when the tension is still high.

You may want to give angry parties some time to pull themselves together again. Ideally, you can ask them to stop their work and resume the next day.

This will help prevent further confrontation, which may result in physical combat or attack. In addition, you will have enough time to devise a proper response to this conflict.

Get A Neutral Person To Back You Up

Involving a corroborator is the next important thing you may want to do when trying to resolve a conflict. This ensures you have someone present who lends credence in the future, and also provides moral support when necessary. Such a person should be neutral and not someone who is biased.

At this point, it is very important to note that not every conflict situation is the same; so you may not always approach them the same way.

For instance, in a violent situation, when meeting the employees to discuss, make sure you have security personnel present to guarantee everyone's safety and to prevent further chaos.

Get To The Root

In solving a conflict, it is not enough to just calm everyone down. Sometimes what transpired into an angry outburst, could be a result of something else that has been brooding and made it easy for them to flare up at the slightest provocation.

Most times, when you look at the bigger picture, the underlying issue could be a broken relationship, financial stress or even depression. This is why it's important to dig dipper to find out the real cause of the problem and tackle it first before coming to a resolution.


  • Listen well
  • Show concern
  • Get to the facts
  • Document everything
  • Provide support and resources


  • Correct minor details
  • Quote policy
  • Take sides
  • React emotionally
  • Tolerate abuse

This article was written by a VERCIDA Guest blogger: Kaya Johnson Twitter: @KayaJohnson37

Topics: Diversity & Inclusion, Mental Health, Blog, Team Wellbeing, Employee Wellbeing

VERCIDA Group is a global inclusion consultancy and talent attraction organisation. We specialise in diversity onboarding, leadership development programmes, and creating inclusive work cultures. VERCIDA group consists of and VERCIDA Consulting

We're driving innovation and setting a new standard for the way you attract, progress, and retain the very best people for the job.

Subscribe to our employer blog

Recent Posts


Want to become an employer of choice?

Get in touch.