Workplace conflicts. We’ve all experienced them, laughed over the cartoon strips and sitcoms, and occasionally, suffered in silence. But such conflicts and clashes are no joke, hurting individuals and businesses alike, causing losses of thousands of dollars in lost productivity and forcing employees to quit. Such conflicts can be difficult to resolve internally and it may be necessary to call in conflict resolution specialists. Workplace conflict resolution brings these stresses into the open, acknowledges their existence, and seeks to find a fair and lasting solution.
Workplace conflicts as a problem for individuals
Very often, the first sign of a conflict is employee absenteeism. If someone is calling in sick frequently, it may be a sign that they are experiencing problems at work. Such problems can be particularly sharp for new employees, who may eventually just quit their jobs. For individuals, this means a lot of stress, worry and all the hard work involved in finding another job.
As many as two-thirds of workers feel that their jobs contribute significantly to their stress levels. One-fourth have actually called in sick or taken a ?mental health day? because of the stresses they face in the workplace. Overall, about one million employees in the U.S. miss work each day because of workplace stresses.
For the business, it means loss of productivity. If the worker suits altogether, there are the costs of hiring and training a new employee.
Workplace conflicts: costs for businesses
Workplace conflicts frequently manifest themselves through high employee turn over. Around 2.5 million people quit their jobs every month in the U.S. However, only a small percentage of businesses are aware of the costs of high employee turn over. There are both direct and indirect costs.
Direct costs can include replacing an employee. For an employee earning $8 per hour, the cost of finding a replacement is about $3,500. This figure tends to rise with the pay scale, and for middle level employees, the cost of repayment can be as much as 150% of the annual salary. For high-level employees, the cost of replacement can be more than 400% of the annual salary.
The indirect costs of high turnovers include lower productivity and workplace morale.
How conflict resolution can improve productivity
It is estimated that managers typically spend 25 to 40% of their time in handling workplace conflicts. Sometimes conflicts are impossible to resolve internally. A professional outside conflict resolution consultant can be seen as a trusted third party, and as an impartial mediator. With executive coaching and support, conflict resolutions specialists can help to find creative solutions that allow everyone to work more productively.
While workplace atmosphere is an intangible quality that cannot be measured, it has a direct impact on the bottom line. A happy, harmonious workplace is also a productive one. Business coaching and employee conflict resolution can help to reduce employee turnovers, conduct diversity awareness training, and offer one-on-one executive coaching.