A harmonious workplace is a productive workplace — but you cannot avoid the occasional conflict between employers and employees or among employees. These conflicts do not always require arbitration. In most cases, mediation is the best dispute resolution process to go. It is a quick, effective, and oftentimes inexpensive way to clarify issues and reach a voluntary agreement. The matter isn’t immediately settled when you arrange an employment dispute mediation, though. Your effort to mend professional relationships shouldn’t stop when you reach a settlement that fits the needs of both parties. You have to rebuild the harmony within the team afterward.
Build a Continuing Relationship with Your Team
Mediation is supposed to provide clarity and predictability in the workplace after a dispute among employees or between an employer and an employee. It’s intended to solve a problem rather than cut the professional relationship between parties. But one or more of the parties involved in mediation tends to leave the company within a year after resolution. You cannot control your employees’ decision to leave the company or give it another shot. However, you have the chance to mend the professional relationship by focusing on ways to eliminate hostility and make the working environment more comfortable for them. Here are some ways you can defuse the tension after mediation:
- Encourage open communication so that any existing tension wouldn’t escalate
- Motivate and inspire your team members to be positive by exhibiting optimistic behavior
- Be aware of your employees’ emotional and physical well being and what you can do to help
You have a responsibility to hear your employees’ concerns and address them. But there is more to building a healthy professional relationship than touching base with each of them. You should also foster a working environment of mutual respect and cooperation among the team.
Put Emphasis on Mutual Respect and Cooperation
A six-year study has shown that mixed gender executive boards are 26 percent more efficient than all-male boards. Meanwhile, global studies have shown that diverse and inclusive organizations are 45 percent more profitable — their employees are more motivated to work and less likely to leave. That idea opens the door to organizations becoming more diverse; management has to pay more attention to the way employees interact with each other. This is especially true in a workplace after an incident that requires mediation.One of the reasons employment disputes happen in the first place is because people feel like the workplace is not treating everyone with fairness and equality. So create a culture of inclusion and mutual respect. Inspire your team to cooperate through the following:
- Embrace different cultures in the workforce — this includes holidays and traditions.
- Mix up the teams who lead meetings, events, and social activities. This encourages engagement and familiarity among the employees.
- Conduct unconscious bias training for your employees to gain awareness of their workplace behavior and challenge any bias they might unknowingly have against team members.
A successful mediation is not enough to resolve tension at work. Make sure it doesn’t happen again by encouraging your team to be more open with and respectful of each other.