Workplace Conflicts Cripple and Benefit

According to a report from CPP, Inc., workplace conflict is rampant throughout the business world, with U.S. companies spending more than 2.8 hours per week — which would equate to approximately $359 billion in paid hours in 2008. In many cases, this has a severely crippling effect on productivity and morale.
However, the report also found that when properly managed, conflict actually benefits organizations, leading to innovation and motivation.
Roughly one in three respondents in the U.S. say that conflict has led to personal injury or attacks, while one in five report that it has led to illness or absence from work. Additionally, 10 percent of workers report project failure as a direct result of conflict.
“These figures should be a wake-up call to industry leaders,” says Jeff Hayes, CEO of CPP. “Companies are losing billions of dollars because of poorly managed conflict, and we expect that figure to grow in a down economy as stress and workload — two of the biggest causes of conflict — rise.”
The study maintains that one-third of managers feel they’re skilled at dealing with conflict. However, only slightly more than one fifth of employees feel that their managers deal with conflict well.
Positive outcomes seem to be directly tied to conflict management training. Countries with high incidence of training report high proportions of positive outcomes, while countries in which training is less prevalent report low proportions of positive outcomes.
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