Conflict in the Workplace

Conflict is a natural part of the workplace, and can be healthy when managed properly. Many workplace disputes can be resolved without resorting to legal processes. Mediation can help parties address issues that arise in the work place quickly and thoroughly. Parties to a dispute are often in the best position to find creative solutions to work place problems and regain productivity through collaboration instead of adversity. The following are some of the issues that can be effectively dealt with in mediation:

  • Disputes between coworkers
  • Supervisor/employee disputes
  • Perception of discrimination/harassment issues
  • Interpersonal communication issues.

When the true cost of conflict to Canadian business was revealed to be a staggering $17 billion – it raised a few eyebrows. Not to mention the impact on individual, team or department productivity… or the weeks of management time… or the negative impression that disengaged staff will give to your customers.

Why risk all that, when there is a cost-effective and sustainable alternative? Workplace mediation is proven to deliver successful outcomes wherever there is a risk of conflict or a need to repair or improve working relationships. It’s about solving problems so they don’t occur again.

Why Mediate?
Rule of Thumb: It is estimated that the cost of conflict across all employees is at least 2 hours of work lost on average per employee per week. This means, every 20 employees represent one full-time salary that is paid for nothing.  Many managers do not feel comfortable addressing conflict. Left unresolved, conflict at work is costly in time and productivity. Mediation solves the root of the problems and has very high long term compliance rates.

Why Does Conflict Need To Be Managed?
We all pay a heavy emotional price for unresolved conflict. This price includes not only emotional aggravation, but physical pain and illness. Research has found that conflict leads to being chronically pessimistic, irritated, anxious, cynical and depressed.

We also pay a heavy financial price for conflicts – in litigation, reduction in productivity, poor morale, wasted time and resources, lost customers, dysfunctional relationships with colleagues, gossip and reduced opportunities for team work, synergy, learning and change.

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