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Building productivity: Conflict management

Conflict-Management-child-page Acas has developed seven levers which provide a practical framework for workplaces to unlock their potential to be more productive. This page looks at Managing conflict effectively.

Why is managing conflict effectively so important?

Early resolution of conflict can help save organisations and their employees time and money.

  • Management spend an average of 18 days on disciplinary cases and 14 days on grievances (CIPD).
  • The typical legal cost of an employment tribunal claim to an employer is £3000, and £2000 for a claimant (Survey of Tribunal Applications).

Having effective and early conflict management processes in place can: 

  • save both parties time and money
  • help identify and address performance, attendance and personal issues before they develop into deep-rooted problems
  • encourage systems for employee representation that build trusting relationships between managers and employees
  • build line management competences and confidence around complex people issues
  • create a sense of shared responsibility in implementing strategic approaches to managing behaviour and performance.

What does an organisation with effective conflict management processes look like?

  • Responsibility for managing conflict is shared between line managers, HR, employees, employee representatives and senior management.
  • A climate of informal and early conflict resolution is encouraged, and the overall approach is regularly revisited to reduce the likelihood of conflict.
  • There are established, clearly understood and trusted procedures for handling disciplinary and grievance matters when more informal approaches haven't worked.
  • Conflict handling processes are regularly reviewed, and new approaches which offer win-win solutions considered.

Managing conflict effectively : Further Acas guidance and resources

Acas Productivity tool

Take the Acas self-diagnosis Productivity Tool test to understand your organisation's strengths and weaknesses, and to help you identify simple practical steps you can take to get the best out of your staff. The tool will produce a report with links to relevant Acas help and tools.

Find out more about the seven levers of workplace productivity

Well designed work | Skilled managersManaging conflict effectivelyClarity about rights and responsibilitiesFairnessStrong employee voice | High trust

Managing conflict effectively: Acas training and support for your business

Conflict in the workplace can be difficult to spot and resolve, and it can impact the whole business. Acas provides a range of Training Courses, Workshops and Projects to help businesses draft the right policies, develop the right skills and identify and resolve problems at the earliest opportunity.

This can include:

  • introducing new policies which deal with disputes and conflict
  • dealing with conflict in a fair and consistent manner
  • conducting fair investigations
  • using dispute resolution services including conciliation and mediation.

Let us know how we can help through our Customer contact form.

Acas also schedule training events around Great Britain which help employers learn more about conflict management. View our full listing of Training events or click on event details below.