Workplace conflicts are often complex, and can lead the organisation to loss of millions of dollars. While the types of conflicts may be similar to each other, one has to have an unbiased and focused approach towards resolving the issues at hand. Whether you hire an external workplace mediation expert or provide mediation and workplace relations training to your HR department, it is important for each organisation, to have at least one person who can provide efficient mediation service.
Why workplace mediation services are required?
A business enterprise is a place where people from different backgrounds, ethnicity, religious beliefs, performance capabilities, skill sets and goals work together for a common business objective. Due to such diversity, difference of opinions and conflicts are bound to happen such as harassment, contractual disputes, conflict between staff members and workers compensation claims. The dramatically increasing stress that employees are subject to in the workplace also leads to disruption in the productivity and organisational growth. Moreover, the complexity of workplace relationships that involve job security, hierarchy and competitiveness can cause tensions at the workplace.
When organisations ignore the existing industrial relations in their bid to cut costs, the employees feels insecure, which leads to the need of workplace mediation services. A professional mediation service provider not only resolves disputes between individuals within an organisation, but also resolves disputes in major labour contracts, both of which can disrupt the productivity of a company if not resolved. Sometimes, just by communicating the repercussions of the behaviour of the employees and their legal consequences can eradicate the entire problem. More positively, the problems related to workplace stress such as high absenteeism and low productivity can be reduced significantly by working on the industrial relations in the organisation.
Role of a professional mediator
A mediator’s primary role is to act from a position of impartiality, having no vested interest in whatever is the outcome of the dispute between parties. With the involvement of a mediator, the pressure, aggression and intimidation of the employees can be restricted. He/she can demonstrate how to communicate through employing good speaking and listening skills.
Through workplace investigations, the mediator must inform the participants about the process of mediation, adopt a neutral stance, reveal the consequences of the conflicts, maintain confidentiality as per the legal requirements, and also provide appropriate sources of legal advice to the participants of the mediation process. While conducting the process, the mediator should also be mindful of the psychological and physical wellbeing of all participants.
Does your organisation need a workplace mediation service?
There are a number of professional mediation service providers in Australia, each of them having a specialisation in workplace mediation. Irrespective of the size of your organisation, you have to analyse the need of hiring or training a mediator(s) from within the organisation. When you weigh the value of the improvements that mediation service brings to your organisation as against the costs of mediation, you can understand the long-term benefits of workplace mediation solutions for your company.
For larger organisations, the benefits are often more visible, but the smaller organisations generally overlook the need of mediation services. However, the fact remains that workplace investigations can save larger organisations millions of dollars and improve their bottom line. Similarly, if a small organisation loses one or two staff members due to unresolved workplace conflict, it can devastate the entire company.
Thus, whether you hire a professional or provide workplace relations training to your HR team, workplace mediation services are imperative for most businesses.