3 ways workplace mediation may beat discipline

You rely on your employees to meet customer demands. Eventually, though, members of your staff may butt heads. After all, as many as 85% of U.S. workers report experiencing conflict at their places of employment.

While it is sometimes necessary to resolve conflict using traditional disciplinary procedures, workplace mediation may be a better approach for at least three reasons.

1. You retain some control

Your company’s disciplinary procedures are probably strict, seemingly giving you full control over conflict. Still, the rigidity of your company’s discipline approach may take problem-solving out of your hands.

If you opt for workplace mediation, you set the ground rules. You also have the option of switching to conventional discipline if mediation is ineffective.

2. You focus on a solution

A stern lecture, formal reprimand or pink slip may stop conflict without actually addressing it. When you choose mediation, your employees work collaboratively toward solving the problem.

Unlike inflexible workplace discipline protocols, mediation has the potential to offer out-of-the-box solutions. That is, when working with a mediator, your workers may find novel ways to reduce conflict or eliminate it altogether.

3. You engage your workforce

While you may give affected employees a chance to respond or refute allegations, workplace discipline is usually largely a one-sided process. Consequently, it is often easy for workers to disengage.

When you use an impartial mediator to find common ground, your employees have a critical role to play in the dispute resolution process. Not only may mediation keep employees engaged, but it may also make them likelier to respect the process’s outcome.

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