Conflict in itself in a co-operative is not to be feared and cannot be avoided – indeed it is evidence of a wide range of skill and knowledge, of different cultures and different levels of education and life experience. It can help build that all-important co-operative ‘culture’, it can develop good workplace relationships and it can trigger creativity and inspiration.
When it is unacknowledged, unresolved or destructive however it can imply significant costs to the co-operative – both human and organisational.
For individual members:
It can mean self-doubt and insecurity, high levels of stress, absenteeism, sickness and even eventually loss of members
For the co-operative:
It will mean time wasted in grievance procedures & dealing with the outcomes; poor team-working, loss of morale, schisms & cliques all resulting in lower productivity; it will mean high member/employee turnover, with additional recruitment and training costs; and possibly even the costs of attending an employment tribunal.
See ‘Coping with conflict’ for information on our services