08.07.2010 Employers are buying in EAPs to tackle Workplace Conflict

EAPs can help with workplace conflict


An independent survey recently showed that UK Employers are looking to top-level Employee Assistance Programmes' (EAP) as a major part of their management strategy for not only tackling stress in the workplace but also for dealing with workplace conflict.

Most people spend the majority of their time at work, so when someone experiences conflict or bullying in the workplace it can have a huge impact on their life. Disagreements are commonplace in the workplace and can be helpful in challenging ideas, however conflict can occur if a disagreement escalates to the point where one or more parties perceives a threat to their wellbeing.

It is a common misconception that bullying is reserved for the school playgrounds, however bullying can occur in the workplace and can have a devastating effect on our lives.

The EAP can assist greatly in being a first port of call for an employee experiencing conflict at work. Indeed the Employer may decide to make an early intervention in order to support an employee through the stress of a presenting conflict situation, normally via implementing a Management Referral for formal Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT), or in other words short-term counselling. 

Most top-level EAPs will also carry an element of Manager Consultation thereby assisting the Manager to recognise, understand and deal with areas of corporate risk including workplace conflict.  As an example, most top-level EAPs would provide the Manager with telephonic advice as well as supportive factsheets via their secure website covering topics such as:

  • Resolving Conflict in the Workplace
  • Avoiding the build-up of conflict
  • Different strategies for dealing with conflict
  • How to collaborate
  • Bullying and Harassment
  • What are bullying and harassment
  • Identifying bully and harassing behaviour
  • Communication Skills
  • Definition of good communication
  • The key to good communication
  • Getting the message across

For the employee most top-level EAPs would provide an array of supportive factsheets and advice including how to ask for help.

Example based on the Workforce Wellness EAP.

The EAP is also a platform to other related ad-hoc services such as Coaching, Training & Development.  Access to specialised workshops presented by leading expects. 

EAPs have come along way over recent years' and are now widely recognised as the 'must have' employee service.  Most EAPs in the UK cost around 6 - 20 per employee per annum depending on the size of the organisation and the level of EAP required.

Do you have concerns over workplace conflict ?  Tackling stress in the workplace ?  Meeting with your Employers' Duty of Care ?  Then please contact us to discuss.

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