• Many organizations are failing to take conflict seriously and fewer still see managing conflict as a strategic priority
• More and more organizations are rejecting traditional discipline and grievance processes
• Employees, unions and managers are encouraged to mediate first
Traditional approaches to managing workplace conflict are ineffective and are costing UK plc dearly in terms of time, money, productivity, reputation and damaged employee relationships. Organizations need to cast aside their conventional grievance and dispute policies and make a move towards more constructive, collaborative and compassionate approaches to managing conflict.
This is the view of workplace mediation and resolution expert David Liddle, who in his new book Managing Conflict: A Practical Guide to Resolution in the Workplace (Kogan Page), suggests we need nothing short of a resolution revolution. He calls for organizations to make conflict management a strategic priority and to create cultures and systems that promote and encourage healthy conflict rather than harmful and dysfunctional disputes.
There’s no doubt that workplace conflict is rife. A CIPD report suggests 4 out of 10 employees in the UK has experienced some form of interpersonal conflict within the past 12 months, while the CBI estimates that unresolved conflict costs the UK economy a staggering £33 billion a year. This all adds up to a negative impact on employee morale, well-being, productivity and engagement, while for the business as a whole, competitiveness, reputation and customer experience are at stake.
The scale of the problem is exacerbated by a backdrop of economic and political uncertainty - and a resulting climate of constant change and ambiguity for organizations. The need to manage conflict successfully, says Liddle, has never been greater. “In a ‘post-truth’ world where trust in our leaders, in accepted norms and in our institutions is being severely challenged, the skills and processes to manage conflict effectively are no longer a ‘nice to have’ they are a ‘need to have’,” says Liddle. “Managing conflict effectively can result in the development of positive and lasting relationships that are resilient and sustainable and will help organizations navigate their way through the unprecedented challenges they are now facing.”
Managing Conflict: A Practical Guide to Resolution in the Workplace looks at the causes and costs of conflict, shines a light on what is going wrong and offers organizations practical and proven alternatives. It provides HR professionals and managers with a blueprint for managing conflict effectively, best practice case studies and the practical toolkits and templates they need to put the advice into action.
The book also focuses on the under-used art of mediation (which research has shown is effective in 9 out of 10 cases) and the need to encourage productive dialogue in organisations. “We need to explore why many organizations are failing to create adult-to-adult dialogue at times of conflict and what can be done to bring dialogue back into the culture and mind-set of the modern workplace,” says Liddle.
Note to Editors
1. For further information, review copies or to arrange an interview with David Liddle, please contact: Katherine Scrowther Katherine.scrowther@thetcmgroup,com, Tel: 0207 092 3181
2. David Liddle is the founder and CEO of the TCM Group, the UK’s leading mediation and resolution consultancy, and a leading authority on all aspects of workplace mediation and resolution. He is also the founding president of the Professional Mediators’ Association, the founder of the Collaborative Justice Institute and an engagement guru for Engage for Success.
3. Managing Conflict: A Practical Guide to Resolution in the Workplace is published by Kogan Page Limited and endorsed by the CIPD.
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