In recent times, meditation has become the most popular way to resolve workplace disputes. It is a completely confidential and voluntary form of resolving workplace disputes that might arise between employees. It involves an impartial, independent person who helps resolve conflict and allows employees to solve within the workplace.

Mediation is an informal approach that offers a quick solution. It seeks employees to work together to find their answers and solutions. One of the most common methods of mediation is facilitative mediation. It is used throughout the world. The mediator plays an active role in the method to guide employees through the process. A joint problem-solving approach is used to explore issues and to evaluate available options to resolve the dispute.

Impact of Conflict in the Workplace

To better understand how mediation can be used to resolve workplace disputes, it is important to understand the impact of conflict in the workplace. Now, conflict can arise in the workplace in various forms. We live in a world where organizations employ people from different backgrounds who hold different values and expectations. Employers have a responsibility to identify when conflicts arise and they must have a procedure in place to address them.

Some conflicts arise due to disagreement between employees over certain matters or because of relationships between colleagues. However, one thing is for sure and that is the fact that workplace conflict has a detrimental impact on employee morale and the organization as a whole. It might lead to increased delays and costs. Moreover, conflicts might involve colleagues being forced to take sides.

When Is Mediation Appropriate?

During any stage of the conflict, employers can use mediation to resolve the workplace dispute. Mediation may be used to rebuild relationships between the employees after a formal dispute has been resolved. But, employers can also use mediation during the early stages of the dispute to prevent it from escalating in the first place.

Moreover, mediation is an informal method for managers that are unable to resolve the dispute formally. For instance, it is possible for the managers to be involved in the dispute or they might not have the skills required to solve the dispute.

Another important factor in favor of the mediation process is impartiality. Employers can also seek external mediators to carry out the mediation process as there might not be an impartial mediation in the organization. A reputable workplace mediator such as Chicago IL Employment Law Mediator is your best option.

Advantages of Workplace Mediation

There are many advantages of workplace mediation. It is an efficient and cost-effective way to deal with workplace disputes. A professional mediator would be able to identify the key issues quickly and establish the outcome that both sides desire.

When it comes to mediation, there are no timelines as it is an effective method that can be used alongside any stage of the process. It can be used during or before litigation in addition to the workplace. For instance, mediation can be used at the outset of a grievance made by employees. It aims to resolve problems informally. Besides, court proceedings or employment tribunals can be expensive, stressful and time-consuming. Moreover, discussions during mediation are not binding and the entire mediation process is confidential. The outcome or proposed solution would only be binding if both parties agree to it.

Workplace Mediation Techniques

Alternative dispute-resolution techniques are used during the mediation process to defuse tensions and to get everyone back to working together. An expert mediator would use mediation skills to get employees involved. The mediator will apply communication skills, creativity and objectivity to help the disputants agree on a voluntary solution to the dispute. The following six bases of social power can be used to resolve workplace disputes through mediation.

Rewards

Access to resources gives you the power to use those resources to reward disputants that change their behavior. Mediation can be used to reward employees to work together. It helps prevent the employer from going to court and dealing with huge expenses in the future. It is important to use rewards as a psychological way to show employees that you understand the situation and are willing to take the steps necessary to put an end to their dispute. For instance, an employee can park in the wrong parking area which could lead to the other employee having to pay for paid parking. Thus by paying the other employee, the dispute can be resolved.

Coercion

Coercion does not mean punishment but it could be mean disciplining the employee behind the cause of the dispute. The mediation will work to find out who is wrong in the dispute and will work towards coercing that person from admitting their mistake. It will help resolve the issue.

Expertise

Sometimes, employees are not sure about who is right and who is wrong. Expertise can be provided through mediation. The skills of a mediator will determine who is right. It will allow employees to gain an impartial insight into the cause of the dispute. As the process is informal, employees will be more empathetic and less defensive towards an expert opinion on the matter.

Legitimacy

A mediator’s legitimacy varies from the nature of the dispute. However, employees would be more likely to accept guidance from someone who is not from the same organization. They will understand that the person’s impartial opinion is the right one.

Relationships

Now, the degree to which a disputant can be influenced depends on the nature and strength of the relationship with them. However, as the relationship between the mediator and the disputant would be new, the disputant would be more likely to open up and form a relationship with the mediator.

It will allow the mediator to obtain insights into the cause of the dispute and the mediator will be able to work towards resolving the issue.

Networks and Coalitions

Outside help is the best way to effectively resolve a dispute. Support is generated for the proposal by capitalizing on existing social networks and by building coalitions.