Resolving workplace disputes
Workplace disputes can be very damaging. Where conflict arises, there is often a material impact on a team’s productivity and on morale. Conflicts are also a significant drain on leadership time. When conflicts escalate, they can become extremely difficult and expensive to deal with.
We use a common sense, commercial approach to help our clients resolve workplace disputes quickly and cost-effectively. We focus on finding a way forward for all parties, so that our clients and their staff can get back to business.
Depending on the situation, this may involve:
Emma is a CEDR certified workplace mediator. In her role as mediator, she assists the people involved in workplace conflict to:
- identify the issues which have caused conflict
- communicate their needs
- work creatively to resolve their dispute
- improve relationships in the workplace going forward
Emma has an extremely high success rate, with more than 90% of the disputes she mediates resulting in a negotiated agreement.
Whilst many businesses do have trained internal mediators, Emma is often retained as an external mediator in high conflict situations, where disputes involve senior management or are particularly sensitive or confidential, or where the internal mediator is conflicted.
Emma and Vanessa both offer conflict coaching to employees and teams who need to find ways to better manage potential conflict, and find ways of communicating more effectively. With larger teams or departments, they often work in tandem. Emma and Vanessa work with those who are conflict-averse as well as those whose work relationships may be combative. Coaching can be general, or tailored to a specific situation or team dynamic which is causing concern. Coaching often takes place over a series of sessions, although even a single session can provide the employee or team with useful tools and improve relationships between colleagues.
We may recommend neutral evaluation as a first step in complex workplace issues, where there are:
- multiple (or counter-) grievances
- entrenched conflicts within teams
- multiple allegations of bullying, harassment or discrimination
- structural problems, for example, gender pay imbalance, #metoo, inclusion
Our neutral evaluation process begins with a comprehensive fact-finding process, in a series of confidential interviews. The process culminates in a written report in which we include clear recommendations as to possible remedies and solutions.
A parting of ways with an employee can sometimes be the best option for both parties. The law surrounding pre-termination discussions is nuanced and complex and the sensitive handling of these discussions is extremely important for a successful settlement agreement to be reached.
We can provide expert advice and guidance from the initial discussions with your employee, through negotiation, drafting and signing a settlement agreement which:
- complies with the law
- protects your business’s interests; and
- guards against any future claims from the employee