Conflict is one unavoidable component of life. No matter how you attempt to evade and avoid it, it is bound to happen. Workplace conflict, as we all can relate to, differs wildly from other forms of conflict we handle. It can feel unavoidable, stressful, intense, and mentally straining.
When workplaces don’t have avenues for their employees to be able to resolve their conflicts, the result is unsurprising. Poor employee wellness leads to decreased productivity, low morale, and it affects the bottom line of any organization. How do you remedy this? Simple. Implement effective conflict resolution strategies in combination with other employee well-being components.
Not taking the time to invest in conflict resolution strategies is the same thing as metaphorically burying your head in the sand. It broods more problems than it solves. In this article, we’ll explore how to improve your employees’ wellness and how conflict resolution interplays with it.
What Is Employee Wellness?
Before exploring how conflict resolution strategies are correlated to employee wellness, it’s important to define and establish what employee wellness is. Many individuals think that wellness is only eating well and maintaining good physical fitness. But in actuality, it encompasses much more. If you take a holistic approach to wellness, it becomes more about the subjectivities of how people interpret their lives and surroundings.
Employee wellness can be boiled down to five factors:
- Career well-being: Enjoying what you do every day.
- Social well-being: Having meaningful friendships in your life.
- Financial wellbeing: Managing your money well.
- Physical well-being: Having energy and capabilities to get things done.
- Community well-being: Enjoying where you live.
Granted, as an employer, you cannot control all five categories, but you do influence the biggest one: Career well-being. Studies conducted by Gallup show that not only does career well-being have the strongest impact on overall well-being, but also that highly engaged employees typically work more hours per week than their counterparts.
When your employees’ wellness thrives, it creates a beneficial cycle within your organization. Flourishing employees delivers higher performance and lower burnout levels, reducing turnover.
Why Should Every Business Prioritize Employee Wellness
When you prioritize employee wellness, it creates a ripple effect on the whole structure of your company. Creating a constructive workplace can lead to improved business outcomes, lower healthcare costs, reduced absences, increased productivity, and even improved employee retention.
Employee wellness affects a business’s bottom line more than more people would believe. It’s reasonably understood that employees are an essential cornerstone for any business, but even with this understanding, many businesses lack the resources to genuinely support their employees’ wellness.
According to a study conducted by Gallup, the average cost to a company for a missed workday because of mental health is $340 for full-time and $170 for part-time employees. On top of this, employees who reported fair or poor mental health were estimated on a 12-month period to have nearly 13 days of unplanned absences compared to 2.5 days for all other employees.
This presents a unique opportunity for businesses to focus on and prioritize their employees’ wellness through various strategies. They equip employees with tools and skills to make better decisions, have enhanced problem-solving skills, and be more engaged with their work.
What Is the Correlation Between Employee Wellness and Conflict Resolution?
Well-designed employee wellness programs benefit difficult metrics to measure, like employee satisfaction, morale, pride, and loyalty. But how does conflict resolution, in particular, benefit employee wellness? Effective conflict resolution, simply put, creates more clear, communicative collaboration and a more cohesive, considerate team.
If knowing how to resolve conflict was simple, many people wouldn’t feel as frustrated by conflict, given how often it occurs. The key to conflict resolution resides inside each employee – their patterns of thought, feelings, and behaviours that shape their perspective on how they view the world.
However, many people don’t know how to take these traits and use them in a constructive manner. Conflict resolution strategies take these qualities and help form them into tools that help identify, diagnose, and resolve conflict that arises in the workplace.
How Can Conflict Resolution Strategies Benefit Employee Wellness?
Investing in your employees’ wellness creates a path for positive relations further down the line. Implementing conflict resolution strategies or enrolling your team in conflict resolution courses will influence the following areas.
Increases Employee Productivity
Conflict resolution can enhance employee performance by teaching them effective communication and problem-solving skills. When conflicts are dealt with respectfully and constructively, it creates a balance among team members. Openly discussing differing viewpoints and resolving conflicts collaboratively can create a sense of unity, shared purpose, and mutual respect within a team dynamic.
More Efficient Problem-Solving
Resolving conflicts facilitates a more robust decision-making process. Individuals are challenged to think beyond themselves and consider a wider range of perspectives before coming to conclusions. This can lead to a more well-rounded thinking process and informed decisions. It also reduces the likelihood of a groupthink mentality, which can increase creativity and successful outcomes.
Creates A Harmonious Workplace
Conflict resolution strategies can minimize unproductive tensions and misunderstandings that exist in every workplace. When conflicts are resolved in a positive and timely manner, it helps maintain and nurture a focused and productive environment. Conflict resolution, when done correctly, helps cultivate empathy in a company’s space. Empathy and consideration are two foundations that enhance people’s ability to work effectively with others with different backgrounds, perspectives, and views.
Lowers Burnout Rates
Burnout is a career killer. Employees who frequently feel burnout while at work are 2.6 times as likely to leave their employer. The cost of turnover is substantial in itself.
The primary culprits of burnout at work are:
- Unfair Treatment
- Lack of Role Clarity
- Unmanagable Workloads
- Lack of Communication
- Lack of Support From Management
When employees can voice and communicate their issues, it also contributes to organizational learning and improvement. Conflict resolution can allow you to identify underlying issues, areas for improvement, and systemic challenges since employees will be able to communicate their concerns more effectively. It allows for feedback and reflection on processes, practices, and policies, which leads to more organizational growth and positive change.
What Are the Best Ways to Implement Conflict Resolutions in the Workplace?
The best way to implement conflict resolution in a workplace is by signing your team up for conflict resolution courses. At Neogiation Ninja, we understand conflict management and employee wellness go hand-in-hand when creating a positive and productive work culture. By implementing training and strategies, organizations foster and nurture a culture that genuinely cares about and supports employee wellbeing.
At Neogiation Ninja, we have years of industry experience delivering engaging and impactful training to numerous businesses, organizations, and teams. If you’re ready to support your team’s wellness by implementing conflict resolution strategies, contact us today to learn more.