HR Departments are probably feeling more than usual amounts of pressure at the moment. In 2018 in California, employers will no longer be able to ask applicants about salary information, nor will they be able to determine salary based on salary record. And once employees are in the door, HR becomes the front-line for a great variety of conflicts. In 2017, society had to face up to the problem of sexual harassment in the workplace (take a look at these recent blogposts). How were we dealing with these problems? Did women and other victims feel supported when they encountered harassment in the workplace? Sadly, many reported that HR were unable to deal with their issues.

A Better Way of Dealing with Conflict

HR may be torn between drafting procedures that protect a company from litigation and resolving conflict in a more meaningful way. Sometimes these goals align, but often they do not. That’s where mediation comes in. Say an employee is required to go through HR’s grievance procedure when they have a conflict at work. The employee’s problem is streamlined in such a way that aspects of the problem are taken care of. However, there may be other issues simmering away that don’t fit the protocol. If an employee is experiencing harassment or bullying from a supervisor, one aspect of behavior can be dealt with, while other behaviors may carry on unaddressed, leading to more serious conflict. If corporate mediation is sought before conflict becomes too fraught, grievances can be dealt with more efficiently.

The Benefits of Using Mediation in Corporate Conflict

One thing to consider is that offering mediation as an option may make employees feel listened to more than filling out forms and submitting to an impersonal process would do. Another thing is that a mediator is a neutral party, so employees don’t have to feel like they are competing to be taken seriously by an employer. Mediation is fair and neutral, and nothing calms conflict like being dealt with fairly. Another thing to remember is that mediation is completely confidential. If employers are worried about conflict escalation and potential litigation, mediation reduces the impact of conflict by offering a private venue where conflict escalation can be contained. Finally, mediation removes the pressure of writing company policy for every situation that can occur. Mediation can deal with unprecedented situations and can help identify problems for future change.

When Conflict is an Opportunity for Organizational Change

What if conflict is an opportunity? One issue with relying on protocols is that the dispute becomes a missed opportunity to make important changes. HR can fix a leak by requiring that certain rules are put in place. But shutting down further conversations within an organization may leave a gaping hole in how fair determinations and decisions are made, leading to conflict. We are a group of well-educated mediators and negotiators with financial, legal and psychological backgrounds, who employ careful scientific, mathematical and legal knowledge to get to the heart of almost any dispute. We use unique approaches informed by game theory, psychoanalysis and communication theory and rely on best practices and negotiation theory to optimize the results you want and need. We mediate in a variety of business environments and at every stage of the dispute, from preventative mediation to establish good policy in beginning start-ups, to ongoing conflict management. Corporate mediation is a facilitative, open process where the mediator encourages resolution and growth in perspective. Mediation is faster, cheaper and more efficient than letting conflict fester or resorting to litigation. We can help resolve your dispute at urgent notice and in a fast and efficient manner. Please contact us at our offices in Boulder CO, Campbell, CA, Irvine CA and LA, to see how we can help. We are also available via Zoom, Facetime and telephone and can resolve disputes remotely.

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