Peace in the workplace. It’s not corporate yoga and mindfulness programs, although those are worthy programs that enhance wellness and employee morale. Peace in the workplace is a strategic approach to conducting business that cultivates human security, dignity, and a working environment that is free of fear. In other words, it is ensuring the individual contributors to the business experience safety and dignity in the workplace and are offered a working environment that cultivates personal and professional potential.
Alternative Dispute Resolution Resources
Peace in the workplace exists when individuals experience security, dignity, and a working environment that is free of fear. This criteria for peace is the same criteria necessary for fostering a working environment in which employees are highly engaged and able to experience their personal and professional potential. Creativity, collaboration, and high-level problem-solving are optimized when people feel valued, respected, and safe.
We are experiencing a watershed moment in history. Tolerating sexual harassment is at last becoming a thing of the past. Well, that is what we are all hoping. In order for us to truly put this particularly destructive expression of power to rest, we need to consider new paradigms for not just managing conflict but transcending it. Implementing a restorative approach for addressing workplace sexual harassment offers a new paradigm for just that.
At a recent Peacemakers Inc. “Pockets of Peace” event, I provided insights into the neuroscience of conflict and what happens physiologically when we are in conflict. Watch the Facebook Live video.
Organizations going through significant change inevitably run into conflict. It is not a matter of if, but when. Whether the change is driven by new product or service offerings or growth through mergers and acquisitions, change rattles people. And that rattling echoes throughout the organization.
The workplace is rife with conflict. Research shows that 85 percent of employees deal with conflict on some level while 29 percent of employees deal with conflict almost constantly. This workplace conflict comes at a hefty cost. U.S. employees spend 2.1 hours per week involved with conflict. This amounts to one full day per month spent managing conflict. And that is just the toll it takes on the corporation. The human cost is equally great. As much as 27 percent of employees have witnessed conflicts lead to personal attacks, which diminishes trust and morale in workplace relationships. And 25 percent of employees have seen conflict result in sickness or absence. Learning to communicate with honesty and empathy can have a significant impact on workplace relationships.
Humans have a profound ability to engage in deeply protracted conflict that wounds us psychologically, emotionally, spiritually and physically. From terrorism to capitalism and numerous “isms” in between, humans have created systems that wound at an individual and collective level. We are far more adept at spreading widespread conflict than we are at cultivating widespread peace. Why are we so much better at harming others and ourselves? What must we do to become equally adept at loving others and ourselves? These are the questions in which this paper will seek to provide answers.
The 2016 presidential election has brought to the forefront of American politics a schism that can no longer be ignored, excused or overlooked. How did we become so divided? And, what will it take for the American people to unite? Those are the defining questions of 2016.
If you manage people or processes, you most likely experience near constant workplace conflict. From warring egos to workplace stress and heavy workloads, the American workplace is wrought with conflict. Yet, few managers receive any training in conflict management and dispute resolution. This lack of effective conflict management skills in the workplace is costing corporations approximately $359 billion in paid hours. It doesn’t have to be this way.
If you lead or manage people, processes or projects, you have experienced workplace conflict. After all, where there are people, there is conflict. And where there is conflict, there is a choice.