Costs of Workplace Conflicts

Topics: Employment, Conflict, Workplace stress Pages: 4 (800 words) Published: June 25, 2014
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Some Costs of Workplace Conflictsi

Not all cost factors are relevant to every conflict, but every conflict incurs several of these costs.

1. Lost work time

Managers’ Time:
Studies show that 42% of a manager's time is spent on conflict related negotiations among employees.ii

Over 65% of performance problems result from strained relationships between employees, not from deficits in individual employee's skill or motivation.iii

Individuals’ Time:
Studies show that 52% of employees have lost work time worrying about how they have been treated. 22% have deliberately slowed down their work in response to rude or insensitive behavior.iv

Tension and stress reduce motivation and disturb concentration. A loss of 25% (doing things other than work related activities, such as discussing the dispute, playing computer games, finding reasons to get out of the area) reduces an average work week to fewer than 20 hours.v

2. Absenteeism and Illness

Absenteeism has been shown to correlate with job stress, especially the stress associated with anger toward co-workers. Science has determined that nearly every physical illness and injury, from viral infections to cancer to workplace accidents, is partially "psychogenic." That is, caused in part by psychological or emotional conditions.

3. Heath costs

It is estimated that 75 – 90% of all visits to primary care physicians are for stress related problems. Since the rate of claims affects the premium paid by an employer to its insurer, insurance is an indirect cost of workplace conflict. An estimated 16% of employees feel that poor interpersonal relations are a source of stress at work.vi

The total value of lost work time due to stress is estimated to be $1.7 billion.vii

Workplace stress and work-related conflict are among the top eight reasons why employees request counseling...
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