Mediation in the Workplace
Co-workers seek disciplinary action against each other.
Escalating conflict between two employees affects their performance and the performance of their team.
Faced with growing conflict, their supervisor suggested mediation and the employees agreed to participate. Through mediation the co-workers began to understand each other’s perspectives and find common ground through their work. They discussed office protocol and developed an interpersonal communication agreement that helped them communicate directly about work and customer service issues. The supervisor also agreed to hold regular staff meetings to enhance office communication and manage expectations. The result has been increased productivity and improved problem-solving.
A supervisor searches for help with a talented, yet challenging, employee.
While this employee’s skills and job performance are highly valued, his supervisor has ongoing concerns about his communication style and its impact on co-workers.
A supervisor is frustrated with a star employee who talks too much, distracting other employees from their work. The employee agreed to mediation, and disclosed that he had issues with the supervisor as well, saying that she spends too much time in her office and not enough time managing the staff. During the mediation, they discussed their differences in communication and work styles and agreed to a behavioral contract that addressed both of their concerns. The mediation improved the overall work environment for everyone involved.
A valued client may be lost due to an employee’s communication style.
A company manager suggests mediation when a client’s complaint about a company employee cannot be resolved.
The company manager contacted the Dispute Resolution Center after a client repeatedly complained that a service company employee was rude and disrespectful when visiting the client’s business. During mediation, the client and employee talked about their expectations and job responsibilities and soon began to understand each other’s priorities and styles. They shared new information and developed a plan that would accommodate the employee’s tight schedule while respecting the client’s need for notification and predictability. The employee apologized for any misunderstanding and asked the client to let him know directly if she ever feels disrespected. The process led to improved relations between the client and the company.