Mediation is the cost-effective way to address and resolve costly workplace conflicts, and usually the only way to achieve “both gain” or win/win outcomes. Alternate approaches to mediation include using authority to resolve the conflict, a power or rights contest, or discipline. Problem is these alternate approaches lead to win/lose outcomes and that means we have to continue working with/or being the loser. Mediation is a better way. There is no loser. The disputants determine what behaviors need to be in the future to resolve the conflict. A fair, balanced, specific agreement is reached and recorded.
A mediator is usually the best choice when communication between the parties in conflict is not working and needs facilitation.
You can always say, “Just work it out”, but the disputants would have already done so if they could. The conflict has escalated to the point where parties involved cannot work it out on their own. Maybe they don’t know how to, or are afraid to confront; they fear retaliation; they think it will only make things worse; they blame the other entirely for the problem; they think the issue is so bad it cannot be resolved; they think the issue has gone on so long it is impossible to change; they are embarrassed; they are afraid to address issues with a manager; or they think the other party is a bad person so it’s no use to try. All of these reasons tend to be invalid and are used as excuses to not have the needed conversation.
Sometimes the issues are complex and require expert mediation. Allegations of workplace bullying and harassment; grievances; and complaints are best addressed in the earliest stages. Ignoring the problems lead to high costs and potential severe consequences such as losing good employees, lawsuits, and workplace violence.
Mediation is a process through which parties in dispute or disagreement come up with a solution to resolve their issues and then move forward. The mediator is neutral and does not determine, decide or impose a solution. They mediator ensures a safe, power-balanced environment in which parties in conflict can talk out their issues long enough to find a solution and make an agreement for future behavior. The mediator helps the parties explore their interests until a solution is found. We have a better than 90% success rate in resolving workplace conflicts using mediation. Typically a mediation last from 2 hours to a full-day. The cost of mediation is miniscule compared to the cost of the ongoing unmanaged conflict.
A few examples of just some of the workplace conflicts we have successfully mediated to win/win outcomes:
- Conflict between two department heads whose long-standing (6 year) dispute destroyed morale in both departments and cost millions in lost productivity, wasted time, lower quality decisions, absenteeism and turnover.
- Employee had a conflict with his manager and used passive/aggressive retaliation behaviors.
- Manager with poor communication and management style created problem for subordinate.
- Two senior executives in a power struggle using subtle undermining tactics on each other.
- Long term solid employee ready to file a grievance and lawsuit because of problem with her new manager.
Workplace conflicts that can be effectively addressed through mediation include:
- Conflicts Among and Between Employees
- Disputes with Supervisors or Management
- ADA Accommodation Issues
- Employee Grievances
- Workplace Bullying
- Sexual Harassment Complaints
- Hostile Workplace Issues
- Discrimination Complaints
- Labor Relations Issues
Our Guarantee: In the unlikely event the same conflict with the same people returns within 90 days of our mediation session, Adkins & Associates will remediate for free.
Contact us for a free consultation to see if mediation is the right option for you.