Is Managing Workplace Conflict Beneficial?
Many are times when conflicts are left to chance. They are left unattended thinking that they will at some point sort themselves out. Surprised? Yes some managers do exactly that. They are of the impression that if you ignore a conflict, it will go away, this tactic sometime is helpful but not always.
Unresolved conflicts costs. The costs include employee turnover and time wasted complaining about or enlisting the sympathy of others in the “wronged employee’s” plight. The costs may also include increased absenteeism, health claims, or stress-related worker’s compensation claims. Unresolved conflict can be costly!
The ability to manage conflicting goals and methods within a limited resource environment is critical. Unresolved or unmanaged conflict can quickly escalate and halt an organization’s progress as people spend time worrying more about conflict than organizational goals.
Many managers employ the ostrich technique in dealing with workplace conflict. They bury their heads in the sand and try to ignore it. However, this does nothing to improve the situation. When conflict is driven underground, it only grows and will stay underground until it is so intense that an explosion may be the next step.
The expenditure of valuable resources to address and resolve workplace conflict, and to improve communication in the workplace, may seem to be a luxury. It is not. It is, however, an effective measure to preserve the most important resources in the workplace — happy and productive employees. An investment in educating employees in effective communication and conflict resolution skills is a gift that keeps on giving.
Early signs of workplace conflict
The following are signs that may alert you to staff distress and potential conflict:
· mood change
· silences or a drop in the amount of communication
· inappropriate communication
· negative body language
· change in work and decision-making styles
· change in social patterns, and
· recurring problems.
While many companies battle with resolving disputes between management teams and employees or among employees and their colleagues, disputes within expansion stage companies are even far more magnified