Traditional workplace conflict resolution no longer “fit for purpose”

Formal conflict resolution procedures are costly and bad for staff mental health, says a recent report

With workplace conflict costing UK organisations £28.5 billion each year, according to arbitration service Acas, mediation specialist The TCM Group is calling for a resolution revolution.

To this end, they have launched a new website providing access to their ‘Resolution Framework™, ‘ which supports the recent Acas report that found traditional HR policies and management systems are no longer effective in resolving workplace conflicts.

The Acas report has outlined the clear benefits of early resolution methods such as mediation and estimates that formal conflict procedures have financial costs of around three times that of informal resolution. As a result, TCM’s new framework “seeks to balance the restorative principles of mediation with the needs and legal duties of the organisation” and offers full legal compliance above the guidelines set out within the Acas code of practice. This includes:

  • A consistent, fair, and rigorous system for resolving conduct issues, complaints, concerns, and conflicts.
  • A unique triage process, to decide, on a case-by-case basis, the best approach to resolution.
  • Enhanced used of local resolution coaching, facilitation, mediation, and restorative justice.
  • The ability to act swiftly and reasonably in more serious cases.
  • Reduced time, costs, and stress

CEO and founder of The TCM Group, David Liddle, said: “This report demonstrates what I have been saying for years – that the traditional grievance and disciplinary policies have failed. They are proven to have a detrimental impact upon the wellbeing and experience of the workforce, on team effectiveness, and the overall organisational culture. These policies offer a mirage of justice and an illusion of fairness. HR teams and business leaders who are serious about resolving people issues should quickly remove these toxic policies from their employee handbooks and replace them with a Resolution Framework – fit for the 21st century.

“The past 18 months have taken a toll on all of us. We are advising all employers to ensure that they have the necessary systems in place to ensure that conflicts and complaints don’t disrupt their recovery and undermine the wellbeing of their employees.

“Most workplace problems start as a clash of interests or when one or both parties don’t feel that they have a voice. This report provides clear support for organisations to adopt policies that seek to preserve relationships and put our people and values first. Early resolution is a sound investment, as it can significantly reduce the costs, the stress, and the time taken up by a damaging workplace conflict.”

To find out more about The TCM Group’s ‘Resolution Framework™’, click here. To read the Acas report on the costs of workplace conflict, click here.
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