In this article, Senior HR Consultant, Louise Angell discusses the cost of conflict in the workplace and offers advice for employers that are managing workplace conflict.
According to research by advisory group ReWAGE, more than one in three workers experience conflict at work. This comes at a cost of £28.5 billion per year in the UK.
In addition, a further £589 million is lost due to a drop in productivity due to conflict in the workplace. Around 9% of employees take time off work due to stress, anxiety and depression linked to conflict, leading to an overall loss of 15 million days per year.
So, what are you doing about it in your workplace?
HR professionals will need to have the skills to encourage managers to resolve issues through informal discussions. This will be done by guiding and coaching managers through difficult discussions, building their confidence when dealing with these situations and helping to address issues that can be difficult and sensitive.
The cost of conflict can be very high, especially if an employee chooses to resign as a result. Research has shown that the largest cost of conflict relates to the ending of an employment relationship. The cost of recruitment, induction training and lost productivity amounts to over £30,000 per employee in the lead-up to and when someone leaves. This means that your HR practitioner needs to refocus on repairing and restoring employment relationships wherever possible.
Sources of conflict include:
Any type of conflict can be equally destructive and likely to be a build-up of tension over time if not addressed.
Understanding your team will help you pre-empt conflict and build stronger relationships. This will enable your team to feel comfortable when approaching you with personal problems that are affecting them.
Different people exhibit their tensions in different ways. Some will react immediately whereas some will allow their ill feeling to fester over time which will fuel any frustrations they have. Getting to know your team will allow you to see a change in behaviour and identify problems before they arise.
Because you will have done the groundwork to create an open team culture you should be able to address the source of conflict comfortably.
Set out examples of desired behaviours, for example:
Hold team sessions and workshops to engage staff better and help them agree to and identify desired and constructive behaviours.
A little bit of hard work and dedication to your team culture can make such a difference. Your team will work better together in all aspects of the job. Plus, you will avoid the cost of conflicting management and associated costs.
To find out more information or if you require any advice about managing workplace conflict get in contact with our team of experts.
T: 0330 107 1037