Mental Health Awareness & Workplace Conflict
Key Contact: Claire Knowles
Author: Daniel Evans
In keeping with the theme of mental health awareness week, we thought we would take the opportunity to discuss the detrimental effects workplace conflict can have on mental wellbeing, as well as profitability.
ACAS have recently published an independent research report called estimating the costs of workplace conflict. The overall total annual cost of conflict between workers is estimated at £28.5 billion (the equivalent of more than £1,000 for each worker in the United Kingdom). 56% of those workers involved in conflict at work reported that the conflict caused stress, anxiety and depression.
It is essential that businesses take steps to intervene at an early stage to mitigate the negative impact workplace conflict can have on the business and on workers’ mental wellbeing. Offering your management team training on resolving workplace conflict by having early, open and honest conversations is highly recommended. Listening to an individual’s concerns, often, positively impacts their wellbeing, whilst also informing the business of the root of the conflict. This knowledge can be all the business needs to make appropriate adjustments to the workplace. By educating managers on how to spot and effectively handle work-place conflict, your business could reduce instances of mental health issues at work, which in turn ensures that the workforce remains collaborative and cohesive. In consideration that more workers are absent for work-related stress, anxiety and depression than physical illness, such training also has the potential to significantly reduce absenteeism and improve productivity in the business.
A business should also clearly define job roles and line managers, offer support programmes at work, and have effective policies and procedures in place to help resolve workplace conflict as swiftly and amicably as possible. Such measures are inexpensive and easy to introduce, plus they have the potential to reduce work related stress and offer significant cost savings for the business.
If you need support with workplace conflicts, on training managers or putting effective policies in place, please contact our Employment Team.