The Benefits of Mediation for Better Workplace Relations
The workplace is a complex, vast and diverse environment for employers and employees alike, which is understandable given the necessary daily interactions between all co-workers in achieving their set company targets and objectives.
The requisite existence of organisational hierarchy structures, legal policies and operational procedures tries to ensure both workplace and staff relations are running at an optimum and compliant level. However, despite the highest standards of good practice being incorporated into an organisations structures, it is still likely that some degree of relationship breakdown or conflict will materialise amongst staff, given the unpredictability and complexity of human nature.
When such relationship breakdown or conflict occurs, it can have a detrimental and negative impact on a business’s operations and if not properly addressed, can ultimately result in legal proceedings being issued for such failure or omission on the company’s part.
Prior to legal proceedings being even contemplated by a staff member, senior management or HR personnel should always consider whether Mediation should be adopted as a necessary conflict resolution tool, either immediately following notice of the dispute or following their own company’s internal grievance procedures and investigations.
The Benefits of Mediation
Mediation is an efficient and cost effective process that enables conflicted colleagues to voluntarily participate in an open discussion about their grievances in a supportive and confidential manner, as chaired by an independent, impartial and unbiased Mediator. These latter features are most beneficial for workplace disputes, because fair procedure must be at the forefront for any workplace hearings conducted internally by fellow co-workers.
If either disputant claims the other has received favouritism by the senior manager or HR personnel responsible for such internal hearings, the legitimacy of the overall findings will be flawed and the possibility of reaching a mutual compromise, will be near impossible, no matter how unfounded the perceived claims of bias.
The role of the Mediator is quite simple yet highly specialised, it is to facilitate this open discussion between both parties in a mutually trusted environment and through the Mediators guidance and empowerment, enable both parties to find agreeable solutions that will resolve their conflict or improve their working relationship. If successful, this in turn can have a dramatic and positive effect on the workplace environment for all staff members, some of whom may have been comprised during the conflict period.
Mediation can also help to transform and improve the workplace relations culture, while limiting future legal costs and proceedings.
J.O.S Solicitors places Mediation and Dispute Resolution as one of our core service offerings for business and specifically focuses on workplace and commercial disputes. We strongly believe that this is an invaluable and highly effective process that will grow further in Ireland, and it is our strategic intention to use our knowledge and experience to help businesses find alternative solutions for contentious matters.
The firms Principal Jason O’ Sullivan, is an accredited Mediator through the Mediators’ Institute of Ireland and would be happy to advice or discuss the benefits of Mediation for your business.
If you would like J.O.S Solicitors to assist or advise your business about any area of Employment Law, Dispute Resolution or Commercial Litigation, then please contact us.
This publication/blog is for guidance purposes only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. No liability is accepted by J.O.S Solicitors for any action taken or not taken in reliance on the information set out in this publication/blog. Any and all information is subject to change and professional or legal advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from any action as a result of the contents of this publication/blog.