The Costs of Conflict in the Workplace
Conflict in the workplace should be of utmost concern to businesses. Failure to address such conflict can lead to loss of:
A Possible Solution
A possible solution to workplace conflict is mediation. Although many perceive mediation as applicable only to matters that are in litigation, mediation can also be used even at the early stages of conflict, and in many cases mediation is most effective when used early, before any case has been filed.
While human resource departments are often used to handle employee disputes, in many cases the HR professional is not seen as impartial. An outside, neutral party can be more effective where perceived bias of the HR professional is of concern.
How Does Mediation Work?
Mediation is a confidential dispute resolution process in which the parties take an active role in resolving their disputes. Unlike a judge or arbitrator, the mediator does not impose a particular solution, but rather facilitates the parties' own discussion and helps them create their own solution.
Through a variety of techniques, including careful listening and restating of the parties' concerns, a skilled mediator is able to defuse some of the tension inherent in any dispute so that the parties can communicate more effectively.
The structure of the mediation is fairly simple. The parties begin by each presenting their perspectives regarding the dispute, to the mediator. Next, the mediator helps the parties create a list of issues to be discussed. Once these issues have been fully aired, the parties work together to generate options for resolution.
In this phase of the mediation, the parties are urged to be creative and open, and to refrain from judging the proposals. After reviewing and discussing the options, the parties then move into the negotiations phase of the mediation, during which they consider the various options and work towards resolution.
Advantages of Mediation
Mediation, unlike litigation, is a confidential process; neither of the parties nor the mediator may reveal to outsiders what occurred in the mediation. Early resolution of an employment dispute through mediation may minimize losses that come from absenteeism, loss of productivity, and employee turnover.
Early mediation, by preventing litigation, may also prevent expensive legal costs that could occur down the road. Use of the mediation process will, in many cases, lead to improved morale so that employees can get back to working productively.
Get in touch for help with resolving your workplace dispute today! Call 020 8088 2144.