Can’t we all just get along? Human resources managers report that they spend anywhere from 24 to 60 percent of their time trying to resolve workplace conflicts, according to a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). SHRM says that almost 60 percent of survey respondents have seen violent incidents in their workplace over the last three years, with “personality conflicts” as the main cause.
More troubling results, from researchers at the University of North Carolina:
• 53 percent of workers have lost time at work over worries about a previous or potential confrontation with a colleague.
• 28 percent have lost work time in their attempts to avoid confrontations.
• 37 percent are less committed to their employer because of a hostile workplace altercation.
• 22 percent say they’re putting less effort into their work due to conflicts at the office.
As a manager, make sure you stay on top of workplace gossip to eliminate any potential risk of conflicts developing. Consult with your employees often to make sure they are comfortable with their work environment and quickly respond to any concerns.