Build mediation skills into performance management

Conflict management critical in the knowledge economy
By Rhonda Smith
|CHRR, Report on Training & Development|Last Updated: 11/09/2005

Managers and HR practitioners need to be experts in the realm of conflict management. Organizations that ignore that statement do so at their own peril. Unresolved or poorly resolved workplace conflict causes stress to everyone involved and stressed workplaces can be very costly to organizations.

That’s because the economy has evolved from valuing manual functioning to prizing cerebral functioning — brain has become far more important than brawn in the knowledge economy. The competitive edge in the 21st century will be gained through innovation of the workforce. Where poor conflict management is allowed to exist, innovation and cerebral capacity — the very things organizations pay most for — are lost and with them goes any potential for a competitive edge.

Therefore it’s critical for any performance management approach to include a mechanism to assist in conflict resolution.