In the last three years, 15 per cent of workers have experienced bullying in the workplace, while four per cent say they have been sexually harassed and eight per cent have experienced other forms of harassment… and 24 per cent say that, where they work, issues like this are swept under the carpet.

This is according to new research from the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, highlighting just how important line management is in both causing and preventing bullying and harassment at work.

Some 40 per cent of those who report being bullied or harassed said their manager was responsible, while 34 per cent of employers said that one of the main obstacles to effective conflict management is a lack of confidence on the part of managers to challenge inappropriate behaviour.

The call has now been made to increase investment in training, providing managers with the tools they need to prevent and manage conflict at work, as well as encouraging a speak up culture with a clear, well publicised complaints procedure.

Commenting on the research findings, senior employment relations adviser Rachel Suff said: “The number of managers who are being blamed for harassment and bullying should serve as a wake-up call to employers to put training managers at the heart of efforts to prevent inappropriate workplace behaviour.

“Our research shows that managers who’ve received training can help to stop conflict from occurring and are much better at fostering healthy relationships in their team. And when conflict does occur, they can help to resolve the issue more quickly and effectively.”

The survey also found that 40 per cent of line managers say they’ve undertaken people management training, which is why the CIPD is now calling on companies to train them appropriately.

It was also found that the three most common forms of bullying and harassment were being humiliated or undermined in their job, receiving constant unwarranted criticism and receiving unwanted personal remarks.

The key benefits of management training

When it comes to conflict in general at work, there are all sorts of benefits to going on training courses. Problems at work are inevitably a drain on your energy, time and money, getting in the way of innovation and productivity. As such, being able to handle tricky situations in a constructive way is critical to the success of your business.

One of the biggest benefits of training to any workplace is the fact that your ability to manage risk will certainly be enhanced. You’ll be better able to prevent aggression, vandalism, violence and so on, and you’ll have fewer disgruntled employees so your business reputation is less likely to suffer.

Something like our one-day course could be a good starting point for you and your company if you’ve never done training of this kind in the past. This will help teach you to handle difficult or aggressive people in a safe and legal way, as well as guaranteeing the safety of both yourself and others around you.

The introductory level course is suitable for all those who work with members of the public and who may well find themselves in possible conflict situations.

You’ll become more confident in dealing with violence and aggression through being able to identify types of behaviour, as well as violent aggressive behaviour triggers.

You’ll also come away knowing the health and safety issues regarding violence and aggression at work, and a solid understanding that defusing and de-escalating situations is the best way to go about dealing with potentially aggressive or violent situations.

A wide variety of sectors can benefit from training of this kind, from the security industry and the NHS to schools, colleges, universities, local councils, care homes and more.

Conflict is inevitable from time to time and it’s easy for those involved to find themselves firmly entrenched in the position they’re holding, which is when it’s possible that the situation could become dangerous.

From a management perspective, confidence is key when it comes to defusing certain situations and it’s unlikely that those in managerial positions will have the confidence they need if they don’t undergo professional training in some respect or other.

If you’d like to find out more about training courses and how they could be of benefit to you and your organisation, get in touch with us here at Good Sense Training to see how we can help.

We have a variety of different courses available as well, so if you think you need help in other areas, we’re sure we can point you in the right direction and really help make your business a safer, happier and more productive place in which to work.