Conflict is inevitable in the workplace. When so many people spend so much time together in a high-risk, high-stress environment, it’s only natural. With both livelihood and ego at stake, conflict can grow quickly. When conflict expands beyond HR jurisdiction or expertise – or worse, requires legal action – it’s time to consider a cheaper, faster, and more effective alternative: mediation.
Whether the conflict is spread across a hierarchy or amongst peers, a formal HR investigation can feel more like a sign of aggression than resolution, and it can add to an atmosphere of distrust. Sometimes the conflict and the attempts to resolve it take far too much of HR’s time and energy. In the worst cases, these conflicts turn into legal problems.
Mediation can be a fantastic tool for:
- Partnership disputes
- Employment disputes
- Conflict amongst employees or teams
- Addressing performance issues
- Issues of Harassment
- Allegations of Discrimination
Most workplace conflicts are rooted in a broken psychological contract. Psychological contracts are unspoken, mutual expectations employees and employers have of one another. Since they are typically unspoken, one party may not even know they have broken the contract. In the spirit of professionalism, people often internalize the issue, and soon the conflict is escalating.
Simon Mediation utilizes a unique and powerful approach to conflict resolution known as Transformative Mediation. Transformative Mediation supports the conversation and provides a structure that empowers both parties to understand and be understood. Both sides have the opportunity to explore where spoken and unspoken expectation has been broken, and reach mutual resolution.
Unlike during a formal HR investigation, in mediation, parties are able to talk to each other directly, in a much more relaxed and welcoming environment. Simon Mediation partners with Human Resources teams to provide patient, non-judgmental support. Sides are not chosen; rather, a single mediator serves both parties, guiding the conversation towards collaboration and resolution. Both sides are invited to speak freely and ask questions, rather than speaking through an aggressive advocate (though Union Reps and other supportive people are welcome to participate, when appropriate).
When both parties have the opportunity to say what is really on their mind, they feel heard, and are more likely to find value in the experience. Participants feel empowered and at peace, rather than defeated or frustrated.
Are you looking for resolution of a workplace conflict? Contact us today to get started: (310) 954-5401