Conflict Resolution: Painless Profit During a Tough Economy

The most overlooked potential for maintaining and potentially increasing profit during a down economy is to focus on your staff. If you are seeing an increase in absenteeism, tardiness, turnover, passive aggressive behavior, or congregation around the coffee pot, you may have problems. These problems are typically associated with unacknowledged conflict. The conflicts may be caused by things such as personality differences and work stresses and may be between two or more employees, between an employee and a supervisor or any combination of personnel.

As a business manager, you may often ignore these conflicts because of their relationship to emotional and stress factors. Left unattended, these unsettled conflicts are robbing your bottom line…big time.

Most employee turnover is a result of unresolved conflict. Studies suggest that your cost to replace an employee is between 75-150% of that person’s annual salary. Passive aggressive behavior and related symptoms of conflict are also affecting profit in terms of cost overruns, stolen time, poor quality products, customer dissatisfaction and potential loss of customers.

Conflict does not magically go away. As a manager and leader, you must take steps toward resolution. Avoidance is rarely the best solution because when conflict goes unresolved you lose your best employees, not the “problem” employees.

Our next article “Five steps to resolve conflict in the workplace” will offer you some advice on how to get started towards conflict resolution.