Workplace Conflict and Mediation

Mediation is an extremely good option to con­sider for work­place con­flict and related issues.  Workplace con­flict can dev­as­tate a work envi­ron­ment, result­ing in employee dis­sat­is­fac­tion and absen­teeism, unhappy cus­tomers and decreased sales and income, or, for ser­vice orga­ni­za­tions, inef­fec­tive pro­vi­sion of client ser­vices.  While super­vi­sors and HR are sup­posed to han­dle such sit­u­a­tions, it is often more cost and out­come effec­tive to bring in an unbi­ased trained neu­tral to eval­u­ate and medi­ate the issues.

Why Consider MediationWorkplace Conflict

A medi­a­tor is a trained neu­tral.  He or she has no vested inter­est in the out­come of a given dis­pute.  Because of that, the medi­a­tor is able to look at a sit­u­a­tion more objec­tively to help employ­ers and employ­ees iden­tify what the under­ly­ing causes of the dis­pute are and to come up with cre­ative solu­tions for deal­ing with those causes.  A good medi­a­tor will spend a good deal of time inves­ti­gat­ing what the issues are and iden­ti­fy­ing all of the rel­e­vant issues and par­ties.  Studies have shown that medi­a­tion can more quickly resolve work­place con­flict, reduce lev­els of employee griev­ances and is far less expen­sive than other options.

What Kinds of Disputes in the Workplace Lend Themselves to Mediation

  • Disputes between indi­vid­ual employees
  • Disputes between groups of employees
  • Disputes between super­vi­sors and employees
  • Disputes between employ­ees and cus­tomers or clients
  • Difficult employ­ees
  • Workplace bul­ly­ing
  • Disputes about work conditions
  • Disputes related to per­sonal problems
  • Disputes involv­ing mat­ters which could ulti­mately lead to law­suits (such as sex­ual harassment)

If you are get­ting the idea that just about any kind of work­place issue can be appro­pri­ate for medi­a­tion, you are right!

When to Retain a Mediator

Really, the sooner the bet­ter.  The longer the dis­pute goes on, the more likely that one of the involved par­ties will decide to leave and/​or seek costly legal redress.  Early involve­ment by a medi­a­tor keeps par­ties from becom­ing too entrenched and  esca­lat­ing the con­flict.  When you get a medi­a­tor involved early in the process, all of the par­ties will be inter­viewed and feel like they are heard and val­ued.  Valued employ­ees are loyal hard­work­ing employees.


Posted in Business Disputes, Mediation, Organizational Disputes, Workplace Conflict Tagged with: , ,

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