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Dispute Resolution – The Smart Way

Disputes are stressful to all the parties involved - be it with the management, employees, customers, or other related parties. The delay in settling the disputes can turn out to be expensive in terms of money and time. Moreover disputes can result in a negative impact on the employee relationship, hitting a blow to their performance. Controlling the impact and spread of the conflicting situations before it can worsen the organisation climate is therefore, vital.

The first step that the management can initiate is to prevent the conflict from arising in the entity by ensuring employee involvement in the major decisions of the organisation. Labour participation, through the creation of a feeling of oneness with the organisation in them, can pull down the chances of dispute within the organisation.

Every organisation should have an effective and efficient dispute identification system capable of pointing out the problematic areas right in its initial stages. Recognition of the problem in the beginning can help to reduce the chances of it creating unrest amongst the employees. An informal meeting by the supervisor of the disputing parties should be conducted wherein the supervisor has to analyse the root cause of the problem and try to find a win-win solution to the parties involved.

On the failure on the part of the supervisor to control the situation, the matter should be referred to an internal negotiator. Internal negotiation system should consist of able staff who are capable of analysing the situation without giving any room for bias. He should remain calm and perform his best in assisting the parties involved in coming into an agreement. He should be forceful, at the same time should remain unruffled by the situation.

If the internal negotiation network failed to generate the desired outcome, the next step is to transfer the matter to mediator. Mediation is the process wherein a third party is called up to act as a go-between in the discussion of the contenders. The mediator’s role is limited to keeping peace during the discussion, and he has no voice in the decision evolved.

If the mediator was unsuccessful in his attempts to bring out an amicable solution, the management will have to reassign the job of dispute resolution to a third party like a conciliator. A conciliator has the role of an advisory in the gathering. As his job involves consultative function, he should be adept with the nature of problem and the probable solutions. A conciliator should try to use his skills in inducing the contenders to reach into a solution.

If this fails to create the necessary impact, the chances for the dispute taking a legal course of action is high. The company will have to resort to the litigation measures before the situation goes out of control as a negative climate in the organisation can kill motivation and bring down the performance of other employees. On reaching into a solution, a proper record of the settlement must be drafted and signed by the parties involved.

There is no one best way of solving a conflict. The gravity of the situation, the personalities involved and other elements have a great role in conflict resolution. The success of the organisation lies in its ability to solve the problem without bringing legal litigations into the situation.

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