Conflict costs money. Have you ever stopped to think about how many hours you spend on a weekly basis fighting fires caused by misunderstandings among employees, reconciling differing perceptions to work situations, challenging employees’ work styles and often handling downright conflict at work?
If you think your time only is being taxed, think again. There is your manager’s time, the employee’s time and the time of the rest of the team who are distracted by the conflict and the atmosphere it causes. Those involved may be absent from work through sickness and stress and would not be giving their full contribution to their job. In more serious situations you may be facing absence from work due to suspension, time for investigations, time to handle grievances and recruitment costs to replace staff that leave your managers.
It impacts your company’s profitability and the business of the organisation. Moreover, if the dispute goes to an Industrial Tribunal the cost may be considerable, often running into thousands of Euro. Just have a look at the Tribunal cases and proceedings to form a clear idea of the penalties and loss of time and productivity involved.
Often such disputes start from a rather minor issue that is mishandled or allowed to fester until finally it gets out of hand and ends up in litigation. This situation can be easily avoided by the intervention of a qualified mediator.
What is Mediation?
Mediation is a confidential, non-adversarial process of resolving disputes during which an impartial third party assists the parties in dispute to have a meaningful and open dialogue to identify an outcome that would be acceptable to all parties. The Mediator is trained to listen to all parties separately and together, helps the parties clarify expectations and concerns, explores options for solutions, challenges perceptions and influences them to reach an agreement that works for all concerns.
The Mediator is not there to judge who is right and who is wrong and does not tell them what they should do but through the process, the parties see things clearer, their judgement is less blurred and therefore apply viable solutions. The Mediators will often think of practical and innovative solutions to complex problems and suggest outcomes appropriate for the particular individuals and/or business involved. Mediation allows much more flexibility than the courts have when considering remedies. In fact, the Tribunal advocates for a mediated process before formal proceedings start before it.
When is Mediation Appropriate?
Mediation can be used to resolve a variety of workplace disputes. It can be helpful in cases where there is a dispute between employees and who are both willing to resolve their differences. It can also be used in the early stages of employee grievances or potential disciplinaries to help promote resolutions without the need for formal action or as a formal follow-up to formal proceedings. Mediation can be particularly helpful where the employment relationship is continuing, as the parties will want to ensure there is a good working relationship moving forward.
Though Mediation is a useful and practical tool for people management, the Mediation process is a voluntary initiative and everyone has to be willing to enter into it. Therefore, a business should only consider appointing a meditator if all parties are willing to engage in the process.
However, in view that there is greater recognition of the real costs of conflict in both human and financial terms and given that organisations are so committed to employee engagement as well as their performance and well-being, Mediation is now widely recognized as Management and HR best practice.
Who can we consult with to discuss further?
We provide this service in collaboration with experienced and qualified mediators only and who are already engaged in business mediation, coaching and mentoring at work. Our professionals come also with years of experience in leadership and senior management positions including human resource management. In this regard, they understand the human dynamics at the workplace and the business realities of a competitive environment.
So, our Mediation style is embedded in a pro-active approach to reconciling the personal objectives of your talented employees and the sustained business objectives of the organisation.
Contact us now on +356 2099 4444 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free and confidential consultation session.