Workplace disputes and conflicts must be dealt firmly and quickly, before they are allowed to fester into something bigger that affects not just individual employees and managers, but the company as a whole. While retaining a professional neutral to act as a mediator or arbitrator to resolve a workplace dispute is a better option than litigation, the goal should be to avoid large-scale disputes in the first place. Where that is not possible, it is important that managers have the training to properly respond to conflicts and work effectively with legal counsel.
Training your managers and supervisors in conflict resolution is an essential first-step in ensuring your workplace remains at the highest levels of efficiency and productivity no matter what disputes might arise. Every manager who has direct reports should be familiar with basic alternative dispute resolution (ADR) techniques.
Further, every member of the management team should be acquainted with the applicable workplace, labor, and employment laws at the state and national levels. Avoiding missteps that lead to legal actions and official complaints on the part of employees should always be the first step of any comprehensive workplace conflict resolution policy.
Dr. Joan Parker earned her Ph.D. from the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University. She augmented her doctoral work by studying at the Cornell Law School, and she has written two books and dozens of articles on employment and labor topics. Prior to becoming a full-time arbitrator and mediator, she was a professor at the Institute of Management and Labor Relations at Rutgers University, where she continues to teach as a visiting lecturer. Dr. Parker has logged more than thirty years as a professional neutral and ADR expert in both the private and public sectors. She will work with you to train your employees and establish procedures and ongoing training to ensure that your workplace remains productive and positive.