The cost of workplace conflict is estimated to be around £28.5bn a year, according to a report from Acas, carried out before the pandemic.
Experts warn that this could rise even further with the increase in remote working and automation, creating further opportunity for conflict.
The biggest single expense a business faces is staff turnover – almost half a million workers resign each year. The cost of replacing employees, either because of dismissal or resignation, runs to around £2.6bn a year.
On top of this, almost 900,000 staff take time off sick each year because of a conflict situation, costing a further £2.2bn a year.
There are 1.7 million formal disciplinary cases each year, including almost 375,000 grievances. Each grievance case costs the business around £950 in management time.
Sarah Naylor, specialist employment law solicitor, commented: “Dealing with conflict in a timely manner is essential, not just in terms of the financial cost to the business. A mis-managed situation can have a huge impact on a person’s mental wellbeing, resulting in stress and anxiety for both the worker and the manager dealing with the issue.
“Organisational changes brought about by Covid-19 have created more people management challenges, making it even more important to ensure managers have the necessary skills to be able to deal with conflict swiftly and effectively.”
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