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One of the reasons I trained to be a team relationship coach and workplace mediator after leaving my corporate career is my passion for respectful relationships in the workplace. I believe that everyone has a right to enjoy going to work and leaders need to create cultures where it is clear that toxic behaviours will not be tolerated. Of course, healthy debate and disagreement among colleagues is essential and I’m all for diverse thinking and challenge to the status quo. However, where damaging conflict arises, leaders and managers need to deal with it quickly, either with the help of their HR department or by calling in specialist dispute resolution experts. As an independent report published by ACAS reveals, in total, the annual cost of conflict to UK organisations is £28.5 billion – the equivalent of more than £1,000 for each employee. Close to 10 million people have experienced conflict at work. Of these, over half suffer stress, anxiety or depression as a result; just under 900,000 took time off work; nearly half a million resigned, and more than 300,000 employees were dismissed. Leaders should make sure they have robust processes to deal with serious conflict situations. Their bottom lines will be healthier if they do.

Link to ACAS report – https://www.acas.org.uk/estimating-the-costs-of-workplace-conflict-report

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