By Samantha Hager

Welcome to the first edition of a new series I like to call ‘Leadership Tips.’ This series will center around the keys to long-standing success as a leader in the cleaning and restoration industries.

To start this series off, let’s begin with how to overcome workplace drama within your team. After all, have you ever truly considered the losses you may be accruing daily from these simple disagreements and hostile relationships you aren’t remedying?

Pollack Peacebuilding Systems recently shared some statistics regarding workplace drama that you should absolutely consider when handling these conflicts in the future:

  • Employees in United States companies spend approximately 2.8 hours each week involved in a conflict. This amounts to around $359 billion in hours paid that are filled with – and focused on – conflict instead of on positive productivity. The figure is the equivalent of 385 million days on the job going toward the goal of arguing, as opposed to being put toward collaboration. A full day of productivity each month. This is 2-1/2 weeks of productivity each year (CPP Inc., 2008).
  • 38% of employees in the U.K. experience interpersonal conflict at work in an average year (CIPD, 2015).
  • 60% of employees never received basic conflict management classes or training for conflict resolution in the workplace. Of those who did, 95% state that the training helped them navigate workplace conflict positively and seek mutually beneficial outcomes (CPP Inc., 2008).
  • Companies with a healthy corporate culture report, on average, a turnover rate of just 13.9 percent compared to 48.4 percent at companies with a poor culture (Columbia University, 2012).
  • In 2021, there were 61,331 workplace discrimination charges in the US, which resulted in more than $34 million in damages for victims in federal court. This does not include hundreds of millions in damages granted by state and district courts (EEOC, 2022).
  • Companies in the United States face at least a 10.5% chance of being hit with an employment lawsuit (Hiscox, 2017).
  • The average cost to a company for defense and settlement was $160,000. On average, those matters took 318 days to resolve (Hiscox, 2017).
  • Most employment matters don’t end up in court, but for those that do, the damages can be substantial. The median judgment is approximately $200,000, which is in addition to the cost of defense. About 25% of cases result in a judgment of $500,000 or more (Hiscox, 2015).

In conjunction with these statistics, the company also shared that 49% of workplace conflict happens as a result of personality clashes and egos. Meanwhile, 34% of workplace conflict was a result of workplace stress and 33% of workplace conflict was a result of heavy workloads. Knowing all of this information, it’s clear to see what the solution is for company leaders.

In order to overcome workplace drama once and for all, it’s not just important but crucial that companies hire team members with their current employee personalities in mind, help their teams to connect in a positive manner regularly, create conflict resolution strategies that are simple and stressless, develop anti-discrimination and harassment plans for team safety and satisfaction, and never overwork or stress out their employees to a breaking point. 

After all, while Michael Scott may not be the pinnacle of perfect leadership, in The Office, this humorous character once said a quote that many leaders should learn to live by, “In the end, life and business are about human connections.”

Stay tuned for more leadership tips to come every single week and be prepared for some fun and exciting topics ranging from attending festivals with your team and encouraging music in the workplace to creating an in-office compost and video gaming days for morale boosting.