Eko Consulting Ltd will share our latest thinking in our monthly blog. We will cover matters of topical and practical interest to those interested in developing themselves and their organisations.
Conflict is an inevitable consequence of organisational life. However as the CBI estimates it costs UK business approximately £33 billion per year. Furthermore conflict is said to take up as much as a fifth of leadership time and contribute to the loss of 370 million working days. Conflict if not properly managed affects individuals mental health and impacts adversely on organisational performance and productivity.
As the old saying goes -“hell is other people” - as such any workplace with more than one person present is potentially a battleground for ascendancy between individuals , teams, and departments. In other words ‘people do conflict’ as such it stands to reason that managing conflict requires an empathic understanding of people. Indeed the aim of good conflict management is to address the existential threats to self worth experienced by those drawn into conflict with one another. This is a recognised reason for the protracted nature of some types of workplace conflict.
HR Grapevine in 2017 indentify the top 10 causes of workplace conflict in the UK as follows-
1. Unfair workload. 2. Gossip/rumours. 3. Cliques. 4.Preferential treatment for some staff. 5. Negative attitudes towards the company. 6. Salary/wage differences. 7. Promotions and progressions. 8. Staff arrivals and departures. 9.Unfair access to training/development. 10. Extra breaks for smokers.
Where workplace conflict is not managed properly work performance and productivity are negatively impacted. This negative impact is consolidated through the deleterious impact of conflict on the mental wellbeing of individuals within teams. Thus it is imperative that organisations manage conflict in order to provide a mentally healthy, functional and productive workforce focused on achieving stated organisational objectives.
Therefore policies and procedures that calibrate the expected standard of workplace behaviour are essential to provide a conducive environment based on established organisational culture. Additionally the mechanisms for raising and reporting unreasonable behaviour should be made known to staff at all levels of any organisation. This has to be supported with clear commitment to take the necessary actions when wilful infractions of organisational codes of conduct take place.
Finally appropriate conflict resolution and mediation expertise should be available to organisations of all sizes.This expertise helps to faciliatate meaningful and sustainable organisational approaches to indentifying the key conflictual issues, dealing with them and moving on.
Eko Consulting Ltd has the expertise to provide conflict resolution/ADR services. We are also able to provide conflict coaching to assist in the management of existing conflict and enable return to work processes for affected employees.
For any conflict related issues you have contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org