Simple & Smart: Divergence Driving Profits

Katrina Patterson
Legal Conflict Resolution Expert

Divergence – differences, disagreements and conflicts can divide and hinder progress. It can also be costly, accounting for upwards of 45% of staff time spent at work.

Imagine paying a salary of $100.000 annually, knowing upfront that $45,000 will likely be lost productivity. Encouraging healthy conflict will ensure that more resources are dedicated to making the workforce effective. A thoughtful strategy will turn divergence into greater profitability.

Foster Creativity to Drive Profits

Workplace conflict is normal, natural and beneficial. Managed properly, differences of opinion, viewpoint, and perspective foster collaboration and creativity. Beware the undeniable costs that undermine progress, providing negligible benefits. When these costs are at the expense of performance and productivity, they must be mitigated. Organizations should protect their infrastructure from both internal and external forces that result in unproductive conflict, while nurturing the innovation and team building that arises from differences.

Awareness

• Incorporate conflict awareness into onboarding programs. Let employees know your organization is aware that conflict—professional and personal—can impede performance and productivity. This provides a degree of workplace assurance by acknowledging and validating that these conflicts exist and must be managed.
• Provide the tools and training to manage conflict and improve understanding, teamwork, and cooperation. Tools and training can be tailored to the industry, function, company culture, and individual.

Communications

• Strengthen organizational communications. All messages should convey the organization’s core values.

Communicate clearly, fully, and honestly to build credibility and trust. This is especially important if conflict awareness programs are new within your organization.

Simple & Smart: Divergence Driving Profits ©Katrina Patterson 2015