We waste an average of $1,500 and an eight hour workday for every crucial conversation we avoid. 95% of us struggle to speak up about concerns. 8% of us estimate we have cost our organization more than $10,000 in lost productivity related to conflict in the workplace. The cost of conflict avoidance is real.
Federal agencies doled out over $65 million in monetary benefits since 2012 in court awards, appeals and settlements. In the private sector the situation isn’t any better. 75% of all corporate litigation involves employee disputes, with 75,000 charges filed annually with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) costing the private sector $379 million.
Obviously, the costs to organizations and individuals add up quickly when conflict is avoided and also when it is addressed through traditional litigation. Employees become locked in a battle that drags on for months and years. A better approach to dispute addresses conflict prevention, collaboration and an organizationally integrated dispute resolution process. By addressing disputes early on, before the costs rise and the damage done to relationships is irreparable, costs and conflict can be minimized.
Workplace mediation services provide a cost effective solution. Whether the mediator is part of the organization or is contracted, the cost of a mediator and the hourly cost for participants is substantially less than avoiding the situation or ultimately litigating the dispute in court.
Does your workplace offer mediation services for dispute resolution?
Theresa Doty is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.