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Over time, California workplaces may have negative energy when employees run into problems. However, there are ways to prevent these issues from becoming bigger. Employers can take measures such as workplace mediation to settle things.

Encourage open communication

Workplace mediation encourages open communication among all parties. If two employees are having a dispute, having them discuss things calmly and civilly can give them a chance to get the situation out in the open. Rational communication with supervisors and with each other can improve things.

Request employee feedback

Employers should also encourage feedback from employees. It can help the workplace as a whole when there’s feedback, regardless of whether it’s negative or positive. The discussion among employees and managers should be done in a way that’s diplomatic and relaxed.

Respond immediately to disputes

Human resources should immediately respond to any disputes among employees. Waiting to engage in workplace mediation can have a negative impact as it can be ineffective, and problems that could have been solved early on may escalate.

HR should carefully review the situation and investigate it. All records should be saved and stored in a safe place. After thoroughly investigating, HR should check with the complaining employee to see whether the problem was solved to their satisfaction.

Create a system

Creating a system for dealing with problems is important. It should also be clearly communicated to all employees. Issuing a bulletin via email or print is one way to do that. Employers can also include a section on the system the company uses for workplace mediation in the employee handbook.

The system should be tested to see if it’s effective. It can give insight into whether there’s still room for improvement or if the system will work to settle problems in the workplace.

Offer therapy sessions if necessary

Workplace mediation can include therapy sessions if it might help settle issues among employees. It might even be possible to bring in an outside mediator to help settle disputes in the workplace. It may benefit employee relationships and make for a better working environment.

Workplace mediation in California is often a good way to resolve legal problems in the workplace without going to trial, saving money and time. Avoiding a court case can be beneficial for everyone involved. In addition, there are strong confidentiality protections for participants in workplace mediation, and courts are very careful about doing anything to compromise that.

Confidentiality protects participants

The proceedings and participants in mediation are not public records. If the case winds up in a settlement, the participants often want the settlement and the case itself to be off the record, so the proceedings that lead to the mediation should also be confidential. This also protects the participants from retaliation and other unethical behavior that might come from the negotiations.

Exceptions

There are only a few special circumstances in which this confidentiality can be breached by the court. For example, if there might be a referral for criminal proceedings, or if there is a possibility that fraud was involved in reaching the terms of the mediated settlement, a judge can potentially remove some of the confidentiality. This is limited power and is only to be used in special conditions because the precedent and rules for protecting the participants in mediation are very strong.

There can sometimes be a careful balance between protecting the confidentiality of all the parties in mediation and serious criminal activity that the confidentiality might cover-up. If you participate in workplace mediation, it is important to know what protections you have and what conditions there are that might potentially erode that protection if the judge winds up pursuing that route for one of the allowed reasons.

Most California employers strive to create open workplaces where all their employees feel comfortable. However, subconscious biases may have a bigger impact on the workplace than employers think.

Employers may be hesitant to make changes to their workplace culture, especially if there are no problems that are being brought to their attention. But there are several benefits that come with improving workplace inclusion.

Diverse companies have more revenue

One of the major benefits comes right down to the revenue. Diverse companies are 35% more likely to have a higher revenue at the end of the year.

There are a lot of reasons for an increase in revenue within diverse companies. For one, customers are seeking out companies with diverse hiring practices and senior leadership.

Companies with diverse employees also incorporate more innovation, which can lead to higher sales numbers and attract even more customers. This can also draw top talent to your company.

Increase in employee retention

In addition to having diverse hiring practices, companies that adopt inclusive practices in their workplaces can expect to keep the talent they hire. This can reduce turnover and lead to long-term employee satisfaction and retention.

When employees feel happy at their workplace, they tend to perform better. That’s why it’s crucial to adopt inclusive practices into your company’s workplace.

How to create an inclusive workplace

There are several steps to creating a more welcoming and inclusive workplace. This includes things like:

  • Having leadership take classes on unconscious bias and active listening
  • Creating a diversity and inclusion council that creates goals in regards to hiring and retaining employees
  • Having spaces in the office that highlight examples of diversity and inclusion, such as a mother’s room or prayer room
  • Implementing employee resource groups in which employees can have a hand in creating inclusive practices for the workplace

It can take a lot of time to develop inclusive hiring practices and create a safe space for employees of all backgrounds in your office. However, the benefits of having a diverse and inclusive workplace are well worth the work that it takes.

California residents looking to use a mediator as a way to solve conflict outside of a courtroom. Finding a good mediator can be an intimidating process if you don’t know where to start, however.

What does a mediator do?

A mediator isn’t meant to decide who is right or wrong, like a judge or jury is. Rather, mediators are meant to navigate the pathway to compromise.

The ultimate goal in mediation isn’t for one party to win or lose, but rather for a settlement to be reached or for an understanding to happen between both parties. There are many reasons that California residents and companies might want to consider a mediator:

  • To preserve a working or other relationship
  • To reach a compromise or understanding when emotions are high
  • To resolve a conflict when the parties are unable to

What good qualities will a mediator have?

Mediators are professionally trained to help both parties resolve their conflict. As such, they cannot be biased in either direction. A good mediator will do everything they can to be as unbiased as possible when handling a mediation. If either party feels like there might be bias, they can negotiate with their lawyer to find a better mediator or to make their complaint heard.

Mediators are not only meant to be unbiased, but they’re meant to best handle both parties. This means using active listening skills and asking questions to thoroughly understand both sides.

The process of mediation can take a long time as well. It shouldn’t be rushed, by the parties or the mediator handling the conflict.

Mediation is often used as a last resort before something is taken to court or a working relationship is ended. As such, the mediator and the parties involved should be fully committed to finding a resolution that works for everyone.