Unresolved employee conflict is perhaps the largest, least recognized, and yet fixable cost in organizations today. Often, we see conflict as a negative so it's easy to either ignore it or handle it poorly. However, leadership experts have shown that conflict handled well can strengthen an organization.
Resolving conflict can restore the health and vitality of an organization … and dramatically reduce costs and increase productivity by:
Improving interpersonal relationships, motivation, and team morale;
Reducing unproductive time of supervisors dealing with employee conflict;
Reducing unsatisfactory job performance;
Dramatically reducing litigation costs; Courts have found certain workplace lawsuits have a better outcome for the employer when the organization has a reasonable, fair and accessible dispute resolution procedure, and the company responds promptly to complaints.
Studies estimate anywhere from 20-42% of a manager’s time is spent dealing with conflict. The “conflict cost” for a manager who makes $40,000 would be approximately $10,000. Failure to address conflict early on can lead to even bigger costs. Morale and trust suffer as positions harden, and time is spent discussing the problem with peers.
Exit interviews reveal that chronic unresolved conflict is a key factor in at least 50% of all departures and accounts for up to 90% of involuntary departures, excluding staff reductions due to downsizing and restructuring. And the cost to an organization? A widely reported Raytheon Corporation study estimated the cost of replacing a skilled employee was 150% of the employee's annual compensation.
Triad can help resolve organizational conflict starting with a phone call where the management personnel will be connected to an experienced Triad consultant to formulate an appropriate intervention. Possible approaches include:
- Ongoing coaching to help a supervisor address conflict effectively and appropriately so as not to place the organization at risk.
- A skilled conflict resolution facilitator who doesn't know the politics and personalities of the parties. Their role can be to help the parties communicate openly and professionally, and discover common ground.
- Team training in conflict resolution awareness and skills.