Disputes between employers and employees often increase in adverse economic climates. The pandemic-induced business challenges, labor shortages and high rates of unemployment are a perfect example. Businesses must exercise extra caution when dealing with disgruntled employees in this era of instant visibility on social media.
Even a hint of discrimination, mismanagement, or wrongful termination has the potential to attract negative publicity and potential damage to brand equity or goodwill as well as affect employee morale. Conflicts in the workplace can manifest in different forms, with numerous triggers, and may involve multiple parties.
Employee vs. Management Conflicts
An employee may feel aggrieved about their treatment at the hands of management in different contexts. It could be a dispute related to wrongful termination, or termination of the employment contract without due cause. Violation of employee rights to fair and equal treatment, compensation, and other benefits also fall under this category.
Some factors like race, ethnicity, and gender of the employee can further complicate the matter, bringing an element of potential workplace discrimination into play, which can be extremely costly to fight in the courts. Not to mention the bad press the proceedings will attract.
Employee vs. Employee Conflicts
Conflict in the workplace between employees will have an often catastrophic impact on productivity and teamwork. At best, it may fest as an unwelcome distraction for their co-workers. If the conflict is between senior employees at middle management etc, it could affect the business in more complex ways over time.
Again, gender can play a role here, bringing culpability onto management if the conflict is not addressed decisively. For instance, workplace harassment charges are incredibly serious and require immediate attention.
Change Management as the Source of Conflict
Business is full of situations where management is forced to take tough and unpopular decisions. The survival of the firm may depend on adapting to adversity through measures like overtime, salary/benefit cuts, furloughs, and in extreme situations, lay-offs.
In other situations, firms often have to undergo significant restructuring or downsizing to bring beneficial changes. This kind of change management can act as a lightning rod for conflict, attracting the wrath of disgruntled employees.
Why Choose Mediation to Settle Employment Disputes?
In all types of employment conflict situations, working with an experienced employment mediation expert can significantly improve the chances of a peaceful resolution outside the courts. The mediator is an impartial outsider, similar to a judge in court. Their presence and proactive engagement can help lower the feeling of distrust and animosity between the parties, increasing the chances of conflict resolution.
Unlike litigation, employment mediation does not entail significant legal costs or time investment. The settlement reached during mediation is not binding on the parties. If the proposals are not acceptable, there is always room for further negotiations. Confidentiality is a vital element of employment mediation, which suits the interests of all parties involved.
The cooperative and collaborative format of mediation helps mitigate conflict between the employer and the workers involved in a dispute. A court judgment can leave one party feeling aggrieved, leading to a long and potentially time-consuming appeals process. Nobody wins in a high-conflict situation.
Advanced Mediation Solutions are here to help you. To learn how you can benefit from the expertise of our veteran mediators, please give us a call at (856) 669-7172 or leave us a message online.