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Managing the Cost of Workplace Conflict Comcare National Conference October 2007.

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Presentation on theme: "Managing the Cost of Workplace Conflict Comcare National Conference October 2007."— Presentation transcript:

1 Managing the Cost of Workplace Conflict Comcare National Conference October 2007

2 Learning Outcomes Identify factors that contribute to the development and escalation of psychological injury and workplace conflict Explore some key prevention and management strategies

3 Percentage of Workers Compensation Claims

4 Average Cost of Workers Compensation Claims

5 Average Time off Work

6 Work related psychological injuries “Responses that may develop when people are subjected to demands and expectations that are out of keeping with their needs, abilities, skills and coping strategies”

7 Psychological clinical conditions (depression, anxiety disorders, PTSD) that arise from, or are exacerbated by, work Work is a reasonable contributing factor ‘Work-related Psychological Injury’

8 Causes of Work-related Psychological Injury Critical incidents or traumatic events (workplace violence, customer aggression, death of a colleague) Work factors (excessive workloads, lack of resources, organisational culture) Interpersonal issues (bullying and harassment, high unresolved conflict, poor communication)

9 Primary Psychological Injury Triggers Critical incidents Extended / unresolved interpersonal conflict Discrimination, harassment and bullying Work overload / career dissatisfaction issues Organisational change

10 Primary Psychological Injury Triggers Irregular and ineffective performance monitoring and management Poor management skills Ongoing physical health complaints

11 Psychological Injury Triggers Organisational culture Demands of the job Support and the individual Control Relationships Change

12 Non-work Factors leading to Psychological Distress Pre-existing personality styles High levels of vocational discontent Health, family, financial issues Psychological disorders

13 Management of Workplace Conflict = PREVENTION + EARLY IDENTIFICATION + INTERVENTION Regular informal and formal monitoring of work environment including risk assessments Early recognition of signs of workplace stress and root causes

14 Managers Responsibility Vicarious liability Common management responses include: - Ignoring the conflict - Making the situation worse by scapegoating or victimising - Taking sides - Hoping it will all “go away”

15 Management of Workplace Conflict Prompt organisational responses/action in line with policies and procedures Referrals offered to psychological support services promptly and routinely Mechanisms, encouragement and support for all staff to raise or report significant issues (without fear of persecution, issue dismissal or blame response)

16 Management of Psychological Injury Ongoing workforce education & development – generic and manager specific Stress awareness and management training Regular promotion of internal and external support mechanisms for staff experiencing distress – EAP, HR People Management Team, ManagerAssist programs Career coaching and mentoring Manage underperformance

17 Management of Workplace Conflict Prevent and manage unacceptable workplace behaviour or conduct Assist individuals and teams to manage conflict Encourage self-management skills & strategies Communicate effectively Good change management practices

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