Conflicts at workplaces are unavoidable and if not handled properly, they could escalate into more adversarial and grievous situations that threaten employees’ morale and team work. Building a dispute resolution system and training your staff to manage conflicts quickly and efficiently can prevent conflicts from spiralling out of control.
At SMC, we provide consultancy services to help organisations, local and foreign, set up in-house conflict resolution structures. We are experienced in setting up mediation units and centres around the region, customised to each organisation’s needs.
For example, in 2009, SMC was consulted on the running of Fiji’s registry for its then-newly launched Mediation Unit of the Ministry of Labour. SMC was later consulted again to set up a national centre, the Fiji Mediation Centre in 2016. Since then, mediation has been gaining popularity in Fiji as an alternative mechanism to resolve conflicts, grievances and disputes. SMC continues to organise mediation training yearly for the Fijian judiciary and others.
An effective dispute resolution system is made of three interlocking components, a supporting infrastructure, training of employees and developing in-house mediators.
We will help organisations evaluate their internal processes and create a supporting infrastructure for the dispute resolution system. This requires everyone in the organisation from staff members to senior management to agree to work together to create a positive and encouraging work environment, and to use dispute resolution methods such as mediation as a first resort instead of escalating conflicts.
Employees should be trained in strategic conflict management techniques so that they can better understand and cope with conflicts, as well as develop skills to end them positively.
Employees who have a natural flair for mediating may be groomed to be in-house mediators. They should be good listeners and be objective, and should be equipped with advanced skills to be neutral intermediaries when settling differences.