Mediation is an informal process of solving problems between employees in the workplace quickly and effectively. It can be used when working relationships between employees are difficult or disruptive. The process is completely voluntary and requires the consent of both parties. Either party can withdraw from the process at any time after agreeing to participate.
The Mediation can be used at any time during the Dignity at Work process as a means of informal resolution. The matter may be referred to the mediation service by the parties themselves, or referred by the manager or the relevant HR business consultant/manager, if both parties agree.
The Mediation Service
The benefits of mediation are that relationships can be maintained and resolution achieved more quickly than formal procedures. Individuals can have greater flexibility in suggesting and agreeing to solutions themselves, which leads to better understanding and satisfaction with the results.
Mediators ensure that both parties have a chance to talk and listen: they will be encouraged to explore past issues and concerns and then focus on the outcome they wish to achieve. Mediation usually takes the better part of the day and is confidential between the four individuals (two parties and two mediators).
Role of HR in Employee Relationship Management
Human resource management can play an important role in building strong relationships with employees. They can conduct activities that allow employees to work with each other and with managers.
Here, we have divided the ways in which HR professionals can improve relationships in the workplace into two sections – between co-workers and between manager and employee
And in the following lines, we will talk about the human resources function in mediating between the manager and the employee.
HR mediation between the Manager and the Employee
Employees often hesitate before sharing information with their managers because they are always worried about how it will reflect on their performance review. But managers who can bridge the gap between themselves and their employees without being too friendly or too authoritative will build lasting relationships with their employees.
- Hold 1:1 Meetings
A 1-1 meeting which is a face-to-face interaction between a manager and an employee, differs from a feedback or appraisal meeting. These meetings are predetermined and held with everyone in the organization.
In these meetings, the employee can discuss anything he wants -new ideas, issues, and concerns- with the manager.
Managers play an important role when it comes to conducting these meetings. Once you make time in your calendar for a 1-1 action with an employee, how your relationship progresses from there depends on you a lot.
First, they must create an environment in which employees feel comfortable enough to share their concerns and issues with them.
Second, once the employee begins to share his concerns, the manager must be rational and open- minded while listening and trying to resolve the situation. When an employee sees that you accept their ideas or concerns, they’ll want to get back to you to share. This will build trust and deepen your relationship with your employees.
- Conduct Surveys to Understand How Employees Feel
Working in this industry, we often hear complaints from CEOs and executives about how their employees aren’t engaged, their turnover being too high, etc. But instead of trying to find out why employees are unhappy, companies try to hold them with meaningless, etc.
You may provide employees with great insurance plans but perhaps what they really want is a work from home policy. The only way to find out this is by taking surveys.
Engagement surveys or 360 degree surveys enable the organization to understand the needs of the organization. Once you know where you’re lacking, you can work to correct and provide meaningful solutions to your employees.
The result of conducting these surveys will be that your workforce will feel that you truly care about their needs and requirements. This will build trust and loyalty, improve your brand, and strengthen the overall relationship between you and your employees.
- Transparency and Involvement Must go Hand-in-Hand
One of the worst things you can do as a manager is to keep your employees in the dark. Just like your partner, your employees will never have a relationship of trust with you if they feel that you are hiding things from them. Therefore, always be clear and transparent in your actions and the decisions you make by yourself. Let everyone know what is going on in the company, what changes have been approved, how much the company is making, etc.
Another very important indicator of employee relations management is employee engagement. When you favor a handful of employees, share information only with them and try to include them in all making of decisions processes, others take notice. It is normal for them to feel offended by that.
Therefore, to maintain a fair and unbiased work environment, involve everyone in your discussions. Give everyone the opportunity to share their thoughts and express their opinions.
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