Employee Disputes & Business Growth

A business can’t predict how workers will get along and employee conflicts can disrupt business growth and impact the bottom line. 

In my 20+ years’ experience of supporting conflict in the workplace I have seen a lot of business leaders ignore it, the main reason being difficult conversations are exactly that, difficult. 

The problem is in ignoring employee conflict it more than often blows up into a formal grievance or disciplinary. 

However, there is a less formal approach that can be introduced in the early stages of any conflict, mediation. Its best led by a 3rd party whose role is not to say who is right or wrong but get both sides to understand differences and agree the best way forward.

As a HR consultant most of the time I tend to get involved is at the formal stage of the process when the conflict has escalated; but I also provide an impartial mediation service and support businesses to resolve the conflict informally.

Here are my top 5 tips to effective mediation – 

1. Act promptly – as soon as the conflict is known

2. Understand the dispute details – get the full account from all parties as to what the disagreements or disputes are

3. See both sides – get them to see each other’s point of view

4. Stamp out criticism – do not allow any side of the dispute to let emotions rule and make inappropriate or unprofessional criticism 

5. Plan – help both sides come together and establish a way forward