Everyone is different and adheres to their own work values and ethics, which are not always compatible with other people. Therefore, any business or organisation, no matter how big or small, will have employees and staff that might not agree with each other regarding certain topics. Workplace disputes between employees can be something small and inconsequential, but certain conflicts can quickly get out of hand and cause problems for other employees, as well as the business in general.
The conflict can arise from a number of circumstances, such as individual behaviour, disagreements over working practices, allegations of unfair treatment, arguments between departments, there are countless ways in which the communication can break down between groups and individuals, meaning they are no longer willing to listen to the other party and come to a solution that is satisfactory for everyone. HR advisors or HR agencies, will be qualified in delivering workplace mediation services, that allow for an independent party to come to an arrangement that will suit everyone involved in the conflict.
Mediation for your Business
No business can afford to have interruptions, or let circumstances develop that could potentially threaten the work ethic or production of the company. However, a lot of businesses will arrive at the conclusion that only a formal grievance or disciplinary procedure will bring the conflict to a close.
Mediation is a technique that is completely voluntary and confidential, and involves a mediator liaising with all sides involved in the conflict to help discover the underlying problem, and encourage each party to see things from another perspective. This technique is valuable to businesses that do not have the time or resources to spend on lengthy formal procedures, which may not even reach a conclusion, and leave each party sill harbouring ill feelings.
As a business person, would you rather have an issue resolved swiftly and quietly, or do you want the same issues brought up again and again, without a solution in sight?
Mediation in Action
The video below is from Acas, the Advisory, Concilation, and Arbitration Service, and demonstrates the process of mediation and how it can help you resolve many business issues.
Where to start?
The video above is a great way to see if mediation will be useful for your situation, and if you feel it could be a viable process to resolve any issues within your business, but how can you begin the process?
There are a number of sources you can access online, such as fact sheets, free downloads, and other videos that will thoroughly explain the process of mediation, how to deal with certain problems, or tips on how to carry out mediation yourself. Again, ACAS has a number of resources that you can use, and also has a wealth of information regarding workplace grievances, and the process and procedure involved in them, if that is the route you are forced down.
Dealing with conflict in your business, and attempting a mediation process yourself, could pose a few problems, such as employees not willing to disclose certain information to a senior member of staff, or trying to persuade you in to pursuing their course of action. A number of HR experts are available, to act as a completely independent workplace mediation advisor, and employ their professional knowledge and experience to the situation, in order to deal with any grievances.
Employing an external HR firm could be an ideal, stress-free solution for you to resolve the conflict as quickly as possible, at a relatively low cost. However, there are resources available to you if you wish to advise a current employee to act as a mediator, or if you wish to build your own skill set.