Hawks and doves exist not only on the global stage, but also in the workplace. It’s a far cry to compare one's role to that of a Blix, but the investigation and mediation that an external consultant can offer to companies facing or engaged in conflict at work is not so dissimilar.
Any company can find itself involved in unsatisfactory and seemingly hopeless scenarios with its staff. Things get out of hand, with confrontational meetings, heavy correspondence and warning letters added to HR files, suspensions and dismissals. All too frequently, procedures are not followed, leaving aggrieved employees taking the company to a tribunal. Involvement spreads beyond the staff and line manager concerned, claiming the time and energy of senior managers, HR personnel, Chief Executives and employment lawyers. This is a painful, vastly expensive and combative route to sorting out misunderstandings, wrongdoings, differing personalities, bad management and lack of communication.
By being confrontational and punitive, conflicts can only be 'resolved' when one party comes out on top while the other is injured and loses all. On the other hand, by being constructive in negotiation, mediating between the sides and mentoring the parties concerned, we have created a far more satisfactory outcomes.
Although this facilitation process might indeed result in one or more individuals leaving their jobs or employers having to limbo-dance to make the necessary changes, in-depth analysis and exploration of all the alternatives will have taken place. Where our strategic approach differs from conventional mediation is that we clarify what went wrong in the relationship and recommend systems and practices for employers and employees alike, to enhance workplace effectiveness and avoid problems in the future.
Could I book a ‘checkpoint’ and a bit of coaching to set me straight this last year has taken its toll in one way or another. I’m sure you have some wise advice and guidance that will help me on my way – this Company needs a sane MD!