In this week where Andrew Strauss and Kevin Pietersen showed they clearly can’t work together, a recent CIPD press report referred to some research that they’ve done called ‘Getting under the skin of workplace conflict’ which found that a quarter of us believe that our line managers actively creative conflict in work and 38% of us have experienced some form of interpersonal conflict at work in the last year. 29% say this was an isolated dispute or clash with 28% reporting ongoing difficult relationships.

Clearly managers have a key role to play in diffusing tensions early on as it is clear from the report that workplace conflict has a major impact, not only on business productivity but also on employee wellbeing and retention with as many as 1 in 10 employees reporting that they’ve left their organisation as a result of such conflict.

I was even more worried to read that 1 in every 25 respondents to the survey had experienced the threat of assault at work.

The other really interesting thing about the report is that often the more junior person in the relationship identifies something as being a problem (such as a feeling of lack of respect) while the senior person either didn’t identify the situation as a problem at all or views it as having been resolved.  As the CIPD point out, there is a clear case for developing managers and providing them with the skills that they need.  We are able to provide training on conflict management in the workplace.

The survey also found that just 1.5% of employees experiencing conflict in work had the option of mediation as a tool to resolve the issue, compared to some 46% who thought that mediation would have been useful.  We are able to provide mock mediation training for line managers so that they have a wider understanding of what mediation involves and how it can be used and we are also able to assist your organisation in developing mediation policy.

It is sadly probably too late for Messrs Strauss and Pietersen, but don’t let your organisation go the same way – contact Anna now for help.