April is Workplace Conflict Awareness Month. Conflict among co-workers can be toxic to the environment and culture of an organization, therefore when conflict occurs it is important to deal with the issue openly and honestly. Workplace conflicts can escalate from a simple disagreement over a stapler, to a full out Human Resource or, worse, a workers compensation incident, quickly if not handled properly. Outside stress can also cause workplace conflict, but by fostering an environment that promotes honesty in sharing information, employees will be more likely to discuss issues with their immediate supervisors.
Workplace conflicts can also lead to absenteeism and lower productivity in the workplace. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the annual cost of lost productivity due to workplace conflict is approximately $727.8 million. A contributing factor to loss of productivity in the workplace is caused by employees arriving late or missing work entirely.
Help reduce conflicts in your workplace by:
- Educating employees on what workplace conflict is
- Creating and distribute informational resources on workplace conflict
- Working with your leadership team to establish open communication in the workplace
- Developing a workplace conflict policy including security measures
- Advocating workplace conflict awareness.