Monday, October 24, 2016
The High Cost of Workplace Drama
Since the Great Recession an unhealthy mixture of anxiety, fear and stress has caused extraordinary turbulence in many organizations. Burned out, overworked, and underappreciated employees who were fortunate enough to keep their jobs are now acting out. Under pressure to meet unrealistic expectations, they are blaming, backstabbing, and bemoaning. The deluge of workplace drama is hampering productivity and personal effectiveness.
Meanwhile, overwhelmed leaders are daily barraged with demands to perform more with less. Trying to stay afloat from the crushing blows to their bottom line, they rarely consider the high cost of unresolved workplace drama. According to Gallup research, negative behavior costs the US economy more than $350 billion dollars annually in lost productivity.
Similarly, research by CPP Inc.—publishers of the Myers-Briggs Assessment and Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument—found that U.S. employees spent 2.8 hours per week dealing with drama, or the equivalent of 385 million working days. That’s a lot of unproductive time and money spent complaining, gossiping, and retaliating; time not spent doing the job employees were hired to do.
In addition to wasted time and money, unaddressed workplace drama leads to poor morale, high absenteeism and attrition. Increased stress-related medical conditions, workers’ compensation claims, and lawsuits are also costly effects of conflict.
It’s time to stop bleeding hearts and bottom lines, and start influencing positive, sustainable culture change. By learning how to talk about violated expectations, broken commitments, and bad behavior in a way that solves problems while building people up, businesses will become stronger, more profitable, and friendlier places to work.
Change is possible. But you need to have real conversations that confront the right problem, disarm defensiveness and open up dialogue. Those crucial conversations take time, energy and effort – but compared to the real costs of unresolved workplace drama, finding healthy resolutions is a win-win solution for everyone.
Insight Management Consulting of Crofton, MD influences positive, sustainable change in the workplace by teaching a step-by-step process for holding difficult conversations. Please contact me and learn how to diffuse the drama in your workplace. We will provide you with important tools to make your organization a stronger, more profitable and pleasant place to work.