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Reducing workplace conflict by addressing it in the beginning

As we find ourselves in yet another level 4 lockdown, I have reflected on my mediations post lockdown this time last year.

Following lockdown in 2020, we saw a huge number of urgent mediation requests. There were two main reasons for this:

  1. As result of employment relationship problems that had not be addressed before lockdown and escalated because of lockdown.
  2. Interpersonal relationship problems between colleagues that festered during lockdown.

The difficulty with employees working from home, when there are issues between them and the employer, or them and another employee, is that people can become entrenched in their view, positional about the potential outcomes and can find it difficult to isolate the issues and see any resolution that meets the interest of both parties.

It is optimistic to think things will settle down if the issues are not addressed. In fact, what we do know from last year is, things get worse.

So, what can you do…

I encourage employers to stay in touch with employees. Not just about work and how they are managing but taking the opportunity to talk about the options you have – to discuss, address and resolve any problems that may exists.

If you want to discuss the options that you have for resolving disputes or disagreements in your workplace, feel free to call our conflict resolution team. Mediation is always an option and we have been able to successfully mediate and resolve issues using ZOOM during lockdown.

Mediation is a process where no-one can leave being worse off. It is an honest and open process that provides an opportunity to address the difficult stuff, have crunchy conversations and work together to find an outcome that both parties can agree on.

Conflict happens in every workplace all the time. Addressing it early is the best way to build a healthy work culture.

Lynn Booker

Mediator / Senior Associate


This article, and any information contained on our website is necessarily brief and general in nature, and should not be substituted for professional advice. You should always seek professional advice before taking any action in relation to the matters addressed.

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