Resolving Conflict in the Workplace

Unresolved workplace conflicts represent the largest reducible cost to any organization.

Is your business or organization conflict competent? Conflict competence requires the ability to manage anxiety and make deliberate choices to address differences constructively and productively.

Offering your employees a confidential, external, non-adversarial process through agree2agree can be the difference between resolving conflict and the risk of costly litigation. More importantly, providing this option indicates that you value your employees and are dedicated to maintaining a healthy and respectful workplace culture.

According to Daniel Pink, author of the New York Times Bestseller, DRiVE, three things motivate people: autonomy, mastery, and purpose. Every respectful and successful workplace provides an environment that supports these intrinsic motivations as essential for its employees to thrive.

Importantly, the inability to resolve workplace conflict through internal means does not equate to weakness or reflect a personal or organizational defect.   Resolving conflict is dependent on the context and dynamics of a situation.  Simply stated, in many workplace situations,  employees involved in conflict are often concerned that those internal to the organization may have biased perceptions of the situation.  Retaining a conflict resolution professional external to the organization will alleviate such concerns.

Published at the Society of Human Resource Management Association (SHRM) website on June 19, 2016:

“Create a culture of kindness. The [EEOC’S] Select Task Force recommends two new forms of training intended to cultivate harassment-free workplaces. “What we learned from academics and investigators is that if one does what’s called “workplace civility training”—a very skills-based training on how to be respectful—that can help [employers] avoid harassment on the basis of protected characteristics,” Feldblum said.”

“To be effective, ‘you need training that is live, in-person and customized to your workplace,’” Lipnic said. “You need someone who understands what your workplace is.'”

– See more at: https://www.shrm.org/publications/conference-today/pages/eeoc-harassment-task-force.aspx#sthash.kXpYPNR0.dpuf

“Ultimately, it appears that the most important thing for maintaining a solid base of employees and team members is to create a fair, collaborative workspace in which people feel like their immediate work matters.” Inc.com at http://www.inc.com/peter-economy/15-reasons-why-people-quit-their-jobs-and-what-you-can-do-about-it.html

agree2agree – Healy Conflict Management Services listens to your needs, tailors training and interventions specific to your organization, and provides ongoing support.

Research Confirms

  1. on average, every employee wastes 3 hours a week on conflict (multiply this time by the hourly wage to determine the direct cost to the business);
  2. managers waste an estimated 8 to 16 hours per week on workplace conflict;
  3. up to half of all voluntary turnover may be directly associated with workplace conflict; and
  4. between legal and other fees, the cost to the business may well exceed more than $100,000 per employment dispute.

Freres, M.(2013).Financial Costs of Workplace Conflict. Journal Of The International Ombudsman Association, 6(2), 83-94.