Friday, 28 June 2013

Straightforward resolution to workplace conflict

Our clients tell us they have avoided tackling workplace conflict because of:
  •  fear of tribunal claims
  •  the time it takes to manage the process
  • lack of knowledge of how to handle contentious situations
  • the hope that in time things would improve 

We often get involved when workplace conflicts have not been dealt with at an early stage.  By the time we get involved the situation has often escalated and requires much more time and effort to resolve.  However if workplace conflict is tackled in the early stages there is a more supportive and positive outcome is achieved much earlier for less effort.

The key to success is tackling those initial sources of conflict as soon as possible whether it is a personality clash between two members of staff, partnership disagreements, board level disputes or a team which has not bonded effectively.

Although there are different approaches to handling conflict we find the most effective process is mediation.  Mediation is now widely recognised as a highly effective way to reduce conflict, resolve disputes and build a productive workplace. 

Mediation provides the following benefits:
  • people are less likely to go down the formal grievance process or more costly legal processes
  •  it reduces the cost of conflict in terms of stress, illness and staff losses
  •  better working relationship and more productive teams
  • effectively managed conflicts have a positive effect and saves time and energy it takes to deal with on-going poor workplace relationships
  • enhances people’s handling of their own disputes

We typically run and conclude the mediation process within one day.  This ensures all parties are engaged in the process and exploring possible solutions without the risk of it being derailed through the influence of colleagues and family. 

Our approach is to have an initial meeting with each of the parties involved in the morning and then a joint meeting with all parties in the afternoon if all are happy to proceed.  The process is completely confidential, no notes are taken and no feedback is given to other members of staff (including the referrer).
The mediator assists the people involved in the dispute to explore and understand their differences and, if possible, to settle them.  The disputing parties, not the mediator, dictate the terms of any agreement.

The cost of a one-day mediation process is £800 + VAT this includes a follow up telephone call with the individuals who were involved in the original dispute.
Imagine how you would feel if the issue was behind you and you had more time to spend on the areas you want to progress.

Can you afford not to have mediation?  How much easier would it be at work if the conflict was resolved?  If you think we could help, please give us a ring on 01794 329290.  We believe mediation will save you time, heartache and create a better working environment.

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