Conflict at work is normal. It’s common. Hey, it happens. It’s just part of the human condition to have friction occasionally emerge in the life span of an interpersonal relationship at work.
Workplace conflict can also take up a lot of time and resources, and result in some very negative outcomes if left unresolved.
In a recent Psychometrics Canada study of conflict in the Canadian workplace, the overwhelming majority (99%) of Human Resources professionals reported having to deal with employee conflict; and cite “warring egos and personality clashes” as the most significant (86%) cause of workplace conflicts. Workplace conflict was also reported to frequently result in negative outcomes. Of those surveyed, 81% have seen conflict lead to someone leaving the organization; 77% have seen conflict result in sickness or absence; 76% have seen conflict result in personal insults and attacks; and 43% have witnessed someone being fired.
Sometimes workplace conflict happens and gets resolved. And in these situations, conflict can actually be a fabulous opportunity for growth, idea generation, positive change, and relationship building at work!
But sometimes conflict happens ….and goes unresolved. That’s a problem. An ongoing state of conflict damages relationships. It’s destructive. It’s unhealthy, and it creates unhappy employees.
It’s costly–in terms of financial and human costs. Conflict left unresolved tends to worsen over time, draining vital energy and productivity as anger, hurts, assumptions, and resentments tally up. Unresolved conflict can spill over into areas beyond the disputing employees, impacting teammates, other colleagues, and sometimes even departmental reputation.
Now the good news… the costs associated with workplace conflict are greatly reducible! Resolving workplace conflict is shown to correlate with reduced stress and anxiety, greater happiness and satisfaction, increased morale and productivity, a greater sense of mental well-being, improved work relationships, and even better sleep. Who wouldn’t want that?!
Are you a professional in HR supporting employees in conflict or perhaps someone in a leadership role wanting your employees to get along better? Are you looking for effective solutions that will bring about resolution, harmony, and productive healthy work relationships? If so, I can help by navigating the conflict resolution process, supporting employees at every step of their way, toward a mutually agreeable solution. I specialize in employee mediation and training to build conflict resolution competencies. Contact me, without obligation, to discuss the conflict situation occurring in your workplace and how I can help your employees get things back on track.