My name is Rhys, a first time dad blogging about my adventures and experiences of being a parent. [email protected]

Workplace conflict puts strain on job quality for a quarter of Welsh workers

CIPD urges employers to focus on line management training and address underlying causes of conflict in the workplace

Almost a quarter (23%) of employees in Wales have experienced workplace conflict over the past year and of those, more than half (56%) chose not to report incidents according to the CIPD Good Work Index 2024.

Women in Wales are also more likely to experience conflict at work with 27% reporting incidents compared to just 19% of male employees.

In response, the CIPD is calling for Welsh employers to focus on line management training and address the underlying causes of conflict, such as poor management practices and excessive workloads.

The CIPD Good Work Index – which surveyed over 500 Welsh workers – provides an annual benchmark of good work across the UK. It measures a wide range of job quality aspects, including the day-to-day experiences of workers and the impact of work on health and wellbeing.

Further findings reveal that employees in Wales have mixed feelings towards senior leaders, with around a quarter lacking confidence in them (27%), not trusting them to act with integrity (25%), nor see their vision (22%).

Lesley Richards

Lesley Richards, Head of the CIPD in Wales, the professional body for HR and people development, said:

“Line management training should be a priority for employers in Wales, so managers can foster more positive relationships in their teams, encourage open conversations about difficult topics, and address any conflict early on, before it has a chance to escalate.

“It’s also important to pinpoint and address the underlying causes of conflict, including excessive workloads, exhaustion and pressure.”

The CIPD’s survey in Wales revealed employees’ most common response to conflict was to simply “let it go” (56%), followed by having a discussion with a manager and/or HR (22%), informal discussions, either with someone outside work such as family or friends (20%) or with the other person involved (17%). Very few (1%) took the case to an employment tribunal.

Alison Love, managing director at Cardiff-based workplace and employment mediation specialist, Resolution at Work, said:

“These findings echo our own experience and also other recent surveys and reports. There is no doubt that workplace conflict is on the rise and we have seen an increase in instructions for workplace mediations and conflict resolution services, particularly with regard to group or team conflict. The role of line manager is crucial as they are in a good position to intervene at an early stage to resolve unhealthy conflict and promote positive challenge.

“Sadly, all too often managers lack the skills or confidence to intervene in an appropriate way and avoidance is an overused response. We have been expanding our training offering to reflect this requirement and have been working with clients to upskill managers and HR practitioners in understanding the benefits of early informal resolution, the options for resolution and the skills required to do so.”