Mediation is a well-known alternative dispute resolution method. However it is extremely under-utilised in the Australian workforce.
Many managers and employers dismiss disputes between employees as ‘trivial’ believing that their staff should ‘get over it’ and ‘grow up’. However if staff don’t have the skills to resolve such disputes – many cannot just ‘get over it’.
Instead of the problem ‘going away’, Workplace Conflict Resolution finds that it is people who ‘go away’. Staff might stay at the workplace but become disengaged and withdrawn or they may physically leave – and it may not be any of the parties to the dispute who leave! Businesses most often lose their better performers and are left with the ‘bad eggs’.
Recruitment and training of replacement staff incurs huge costs. Mediation becomes a cost effective proposal and in addition can also deliver learning opportunities, skill development, personal transformation and improved workplace relationships. Often mediation discussions also uncover methods for improved people management and increased business efficiencies.
A new year’s resolution for employers….take conflict seriously, resolve disputes early.