ER Strategies now offers Mediation Services as a means of resolving workplace disputes, using trained professionals experienced in resolving conflicts.
Mediation encourages open communication between all parties involved in the disagreement, whether the situation is just between two individuals, or even where it extends into the wider workforce within an organisation.
Whilst the aim of mediation is for grievances to be aired in an open forum, in order for mediation to be successful it must be carried out in a non-confrontational environment, otherwise those involved may not feel they are able to properly air their views and be heard.
However, with everyone involved in coming up with a solution to the problems, it is often possible to arrive at a permanent solution, rather than applying band-aids to old wounds, or worse still, having to exit one or both of the parties from their employment.
For mediation to have its best chance of success, the conflict between employees should be identified as soon as possible - leaving it too late could mean the problems escalate out of control and mediation will no longer be effective.
Whilst mediation is not always a sure-fire way of coming to a happy conclusion, it can provide an alternative to the employer being possibly dragged in to messy legal proceedings between employees, or even aimed at the employer.
Serious workplace issues such as bullying and harassment by one employee against another are also not always ideal candidates for mediation as they often require much more serious action to be taken. Employers have significant obligations to act in these areas under safety and discrimination legislation. Some states now even have special harrasment legislation.