Luke Watkeys, Business Manager
But what about conflict? Asking a manager to put a figure on the levels of conflict in the workplace is usually greeted with a ‘How is that measured?’ or, 'That’s not something we look into’. Yet, measuring (and bench-marking) the levels of conflict in your workplace is just as useful for keeping tabs on the health and performance of a workplace as is the number of staff leaving or taking time off sick. So, here's our approach to measuring the conflict in your workplace...
Once you have calculated your conflict index, the next question to ask is whether this is a realistic figure. It may be that you have a low rate, but before you bust out the party poppers in celebration, ask yourself, is this because you or your fellow managers are unwilling or unable to address poor behaviour or performance? If so, workplaces who make it a priority to address those concerns may have their conflict index spike, before returning to a lower percentage over time.
So let’s say you’ve got this figure down and you’re happy this is a realistic figure. How then to keep it down? Disciplinary and capability issues can often stem from an inadequate recruitment process (i.e. someone being appointed lacking the skill and ability required), a lack of regular, effective and on-going performance management (e.g. setting clear expectations, frequent support and supervision, development planning and regular appraisal), and managers' aversion to addressing issues informally as and when they arise.
As the old saying goes, 'What gets measured gets done'. Using the conflict index alongside other your other HR statistics can be incredibly useful in measuring workplace health, will increasing the motivation for you and other managers to be proactive and ultimately minimise the number of times that you'll have to use formal procedures.