Conflict in the workplace is inevitable, and occurs between individual employees, between organizational units and even between institutions. It is part of our everyday life at work. Alarmingly, a number of studies suggest that up to 50% of manager's daily activites are devoted trying to resolve some form of conflict. Employees inability to effectively deal with anger and conflict in the the workplace result in a tremendous loss of potential company profits, due to lower productivity, poor morale, employee turnover and possible lawsuits.

Having to endure conflicts in the workplace without sufficient training, tools, outlets, or support, can lead to various levels of problems. As a result, workplace distress can spiral out of control causing a range of consequences. At a minimum, the employees are in anguish over his or her situation. In many instances, employees with no viable outlet for thier grievances escalate their concerns to channels outside the company. Conceivably, a lawsuit may ensue. Below are some eye-opening statistics gathered in a study by the Rand Corporation relative to workplace litigation.

  • An average of $700,000 was awarded to employees who were wrongfully terminated.
  • An average of $38,000 was awarded to employees in sexual harassment cases.
  • An average of $2.7 million was awarded for punitive damages in employment cases.
  • An average of $6.4 million was awarded in racial discrimination cases.
  • An employee won a jury trial 70 percent of the time.
  • An employee won damages in 55 percent of cases.
  • The average cost associated with replacing an employee ranges from $15,000 to $75,000​

Companies of various sizes, union organizations and many government agencies have implemented some form of conflict resolution system. Many use an internal designed system, specifically aimed at focusing on unique problems that an organization is facing. Others have a contracted outside third-party that they bring in on a regular basis or their own workplace ombudsman. This allows an organization to intervene at the earliest appropriate time in order to make an effort at resolving conflict before it gets out of hand. Many organizations use mediation, fact-finding, or arbitration as the most preferred methods of resolving workplace conflict. These agencies and organizations have retained some of their best and most valuable workers due to having a plan in place to resolve conflict and saved the company costs that are typically associated with unresolved conflict. 

On the flip side of this, Unfortunately, I have witnessed hospitals lose key physicians and nurses, the EEOC lose key personnel, universities lose some of their best instructors, and businesses lose some of their best workers, while losing thousands and even millions of dollars, all due to either intervening too late or the absence of a conflict management system. I can assist your organization with designing such a system by assessing the need for such a program, designing a system, and implementation of a conflict management system based on the needs and interests of your company. 

Conflict Management Systems

Randy Hoerschgen | 104 Anthony Lane | Mandeville, Louisiana 70471 | | (573) 353-4663