The amount of time spent by employers resolving individual workplace conflict has increased in more than 40% of UK organisations during the past two years, according to research published by XpertHR today.
However, according to the research there was a perception among respondents that the overall level of individual conflict was not excessive. Just 6% of respondents describe the level of conflict between individuals as “high”, with 42.8% saying it is “average” and 51.2% reporting it as “low”.
The XpertHR study also found that the smaller the organisation, the lower the level of individual workplace conflict: 65% of employers with between one and 249 employees describe the level of conflict as “low” compared with 59% of those with between 250 and 999 employees and 25% of those with more than 1,000 staff.
Public sector employers reported a slightly higher level of individual disputes within their organisations. Rachel Suff, author of the report, said: “The tendency for public sector employers to report a slightly higher level of conflict is not surprising given the well-publicised efficiency drives, spending cuts and job losses in the sector.”
The most common reasons given by the employee for the individual dispute are dissatisfaction with their line manager, perceived bullying and harassment and a personality clash. All three of the top reasons for the conflict cited by XpertHR respondents relate to relationships in the workplace, which is probably no coincidence – relationships at work are pivotal to the employment relations climate.