Lately, we have received a number of calls from members trying to resolve workplace conflicts. In some cases, the conflicts were long-standing. Conflict can have a huge effect on the functionality of the company/team. What happens if it is not addressed?
· It can cause low morale: When co-workers see conflict in the workplace that is not getting addressed, they can sometimes feel that they have to be “tolerant” or “understanding” of others’ poor behavior. We look to leadership to be pro-active and address issues before they can become toxic.
· It can create “camps”: Often with conflict we see folks taking sides. Once these “camps” are formed, it can become an Us vs. Them kind of atmosphere. This is when gossip and other negative behaviors surface.
· It can cause low productivity: What comes with low morale is less desire to perform. People who experience a negative work environment do not want to go to work, call in sick more often, and are less engaged.
· It can cost your company money: It is often not until the conflict has escalated to a point when it seems there is no return that something is done about it. Companies find themselves in a situation where they have to call in a third party, such as a mediator. This equates to employees out of the office and a hefty price tag.
We would encourage you to be more proactive than reactive when it comes to identifying conflict situations in the workplace. Look for the signs and exercise healthy interventions. We can help. Contact our Organizational Development and Learning Department for assistance.