The Edwards & Co approach to workplace conflict

The Edwards & Co approach to workplace conflict

Recent (CIPD) research covering 5000 full time employee respondents in 9 countries in Europe & North America revealed that 85% have to deal with workplace conflict, with 29% reporting the frequency as frequently /always.

At Edwards & Co we are enthusiastic proponents of the use of mediation in all areas of dispute resolution so we decided to put our own advice into practice and have recently taken the innovative step of including a mediation clause in our contracts of employment.

What does this mean? In practice it simply means that when a dispute of any sort arises among our staff they will consider mediation as the first means of resolving it and we will cover the cost. This doesn’t affect anyone’s rights to grievance procedures or any legal recourse they may have – such procedures are simply put on hold so that there is nothing to lose by trying mediation first.
On the other hand there is much to gain.

In 2013 CIPD and ACAS issued a guide on workplace disputes and highlighted the following as examples of the impact they can have :

  • Sickness absence costs as the individuals concerned take time off to deal personally with the effects of the conflict;
  • Management time being diverted to dealing with the conflict instead of focusing on managing the business;
  • Staff turnover and re-recruitment and re-training costs, where conflict leads to the departure of those affected from the organisation;
  • Lower staff morale leading to less commitment to exerting discretionary effort, leading to lower productivity;
  • Loss of focus on corporate goals and common objectives as people are distracted by the disagreement;
  • The employer's external reputation compromised.

It is impossible to eradicate workplace conflict but the good news is that better conflict management can result in huge financial savings and improvements to efficiency, morale and productivity.
We can provide advice on the use of mediation and how to embed procedures into your policies and practices for better conflict management. We will draft mediation clauses and policies for your workforce and provide recommendations on implementing them in your business.

If you’d like to take a more proactive approach to managing conflict in the workplace contact Dorcas Crawford at

For more information on our specialist mediation service click here>>

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