When an employer and an employee are at odds with each other, it can cause significant stress and distraction and hurt the company’s bottom line. Sometimes there are legitimate reasons for employee complaints. Other times they are not. It is critical to identify the difference.
Either way, using the company’s legal resources to solve disputes, even if the company has an in-house legal department, can be costly and take away resources that could be spent more efficiently and productively.
For various reasons, mediation is an excellent way for employers to handle employee disputes. For example:
- It makes employees feel heard and understood, even if you disagree with their complaints. Often times people who are upset over something simply want to feel heard.
- It allows employees to express their concerns in a safe environment with a neutral third-party present, which makes the employee feel that the employer cares about them.
- It is a non-adversarial way of conflict resolution, lessening the likelihood of the dispute evolving into a more significant problem, which companies should try to avoid.
- It allows the employer and the employee to devise a solution that works for both.
Especially in large companies, employees may feel dispensable and unimportant. Mediation is an excellent tool for making employees feel the employer cares about them and their concerns.
Why use mediation?
Mediation, in general, has an array of benefits, including:
- Non-adversarial nature
- Privacy and confidentiality
- Legally binding agreements
Disagreements between employers and employees are inevitable. Most of the time, disputes are simply due to misunderstandings between the parties. Mediation provides an opportunity to clarify these misunderstandings without having the issue get out of hand.
Remember that not all employees are out to harm you. Many employees would prefer to mediate conflict and remain in the company, especially if the employee likes their job, and you offer a great workplace. Mediation provides a non-adversarial way to address those disagreements, hopefully supporting rather than harming your business.