“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”
In 2019, there were 76,418 discrimination charges reported to the EEOC in the U.S. And according to Randstad, 58% of employees resign due to conflicts at work or negative office politics. Just as troubling, managers spend anywhere from 20-40% of their time responding to conflict (Leadership Quarterly).
CPP, a leading provider of assessment and training tools, estimates the cost to U.S. companies of workplace conflict due to lost employee time is $359 billion annually. This doesn’t include the impact of personal attacks, absenteeism, bullying, firings, movement to different departments or project team failures.
According to a Georgetown University study, conflict among employees has increased from 25% in 1998 to over 60% in 2016. It seems that incivility and competitive work environments are on the rise. While some organizations see new policies and procedures as the answer to conflict, it is not enough. Employees and especially their managers need training and practice in soft skills to deal with the challenging issues they face daily. Unfortunately, 58% of managers say they didn’t receive management training before being promoted (CareerBuilder.com) or get the help they need when conflict occurs.
What can leaders do?
All people managers need to take a good look at themselves first. Many managers are unaware of the impact on their direct reports and teams of how they personally handle conflict. When someone leaves their organization, most managers claim the reason is for money or better benefits. Research shows that only a small percentage of employees leave for pay. Instead, up to 70% leave because of poor and/or ineffective leadership and management behaviors.
Reducing conflict, litigation, grievances, absenteeism, turnover and disengagement is a challenge all leaders face. Innolect works with organizations to provide customized solutions that change behavior and make a difference. Please reach out to start a conversation.
Download Innolect’s 15 Suggestions to Reduce Negative Conflict and Increase Positive Conflict Outcomes HERE.