Acas estimate that UK companies spend £28.5 Billion (yes Billion) per year on workplace conflict. These conflicts usually start off small but if not resolved early, over time they become deep-rooted and harder to resolve. Colleagues’ behaviours change and we see approaches adopted such as “I win, you lose” or “attack and defend”.
Who else does this affect?
As the conflict engulfs colleagues, allies are sought creating an army of unhappy staff. The workforce is now getting caught up in this storm of injustice. And who gets forgotten about? THE CUSTOMER (internal and external). From nursing patients, driving a forklift to selling life insurance, the colleagues minds are not on what they are supposed to be doing. Productivity reduces or even worse safety issues arise.
What causes the conflict?
As humans, we are not always going to get along or even like each other. We have an inherent belief in right versus wrong and a sense of justice. Conflict is perfectly natural and happens every single day when people may not agree on something. When you hear someone say “we never have conflict in our workplace”, that simply isn’t true and often something is bubbling below the surface.
There are 2 different types of conflict: Constructive and Destructive. Constructive Conflict can be uncomfortable when colleagues disagree, however, if both parties are open minded (they listen and demonstrate a degree of respect), they can come away with a win/win scenario. When Constructive Conflict is not resolved or addressed in the early stages then it turns into Destructive Conflict. We see the “I win you lose” mentality. You can cut the negative atmosphere with a knife! Colleagues walk out of the room and phone their allies, fuelling more unhappiness, only sharing their own version of the situation, distorting the entire perspective.
What is the true cost of conflict?
I could go on ………
Firstly, consider the following questions.
Why did you get into a HR, Leadership or Managerial role?
What can you do to break the Destructive Conflict?
I have worked with many organisations re-aligning their policies and the main light bulb moment is when employers realise their own policies are actually fueling the Destructive Conflict Beast! Their policies were likely written in the 1990s and over the years added upon to protect the company rather than serve the employees.
As a rule, individuals do not want to go through the formal Grievance, Bullying & Harassment process. It doesn’t just harm them but also their families and work associates. The time for change is here!
We can help review your policies via our S.C.O.P.E process and provide you with recommendations to meet your needs. The Positive Dialogue Framework is modern and agile. It promotes Early Dialogue. It can bring all your policies under one location. This makes it easier for colleagues, Trade Unions, and the organisation to align. The policy follows the Acas guidelines and UK employment law. Acas believes in restorative policies. The Positive Dialogue Framework also provides a consistent method for scoring each colleague’s case in a professional and fair way.
Now is the time to be brave and make a change for the better. Think about the environment you want to create for the future. Even if you don’t contact Inspirational Coaching Limited, I urge you to review your policies.