Workplace conflicts are inevitable, be it with employee complaints, union grievances, disputes between co-workers or even customers. Conflicts affect employee morale and work performance. If managed well, conflicts can lead to constructive communication, positive changes, and ultimately a resolution. When left unresolved, conflicts can damage relationships, result in decreased work productivity, and affect the entire organisation.
An increasing number of business employers are beginning to realise the benefits and cost savings of having an in-house dispute resolution system embedded into their organisation. The usage of mediation to resolve disagreements enables early settlement, and reduces the need for settling disputes through costly and lengthy law suits.
Does your organisation have a dispute resolution system in place?
A dispute resolution system is designed to address all your potential workplace disputes quickly and efficiently, preventing them from escalating out of control. It usually has 3 basic components: a supporting infrastructure, training and neutral third-party intervention.
A supporting infrastructure refers to an organisation’s internal procedures and processes to support, evaluate and manage the dispute resolution system. A well-designed system involves everyone in the organisation, with support from senior management, to well-informed employees.
Employees should also be equipped with training to increase their awareness and skills on strategic conflict management. This would empower them to understand and cope with conflict, and develop strategies for resolving them.
Employees who have a natural flair for resolving conflicts could also be groomed to be internal mediators - persons whom others are comfortable confiding in, ensure confidentiality, are good listeners, are fair and act as neutral third parties to facilitate negotiations.
SMC provides consultancy services to both local and foreign organisations seeking to establish in-house conflict resolution infrastructure and processes. We are experienced with setting up mediation units and centres around the region, and can customise a dispute resolution infrastructure to suit your needs.
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