Corporate meetings, to everyday employee management, mediation skills can come in handy in all workplace settings. It is your responsibility as a manager and business owner to create and maintain a healthy work environment. Support and inspire your employees. Addressing conflict head on will gain you respect as an employer. All too often conflict is avoided – stick your head in the sand and hope things will sort themselves out.
The workplace should be a space where people feel supported and comfortable. An uncomfortable environment and distrust will only lead your employees and even contract workers to get annoyed and quit. Recognize conflict and know that you can be a leader. There is a better, and more cost effective, as well as emotionally beneficial solution available to everyone today – mediation.
Employees are now better informed of both their statutory and human rights, and are increasingly more willing to invoke them in the workplace at the earliest opportunity. As a leader and manager take time to establish strong communication skills. These can include active listen, question and clarify discussions, identifying emotions; and lastly try to reframe issues and empathise.
Don’t pretend that the ‘problem is solved’ after it is addressed and discussed in a calm and respectful manner. Handling workplace disputes confidently and modelling your businesses expected behaviours will set the tone and expectation for future issues. Team-building programs will provide an activity that gives the team real opportunity to get to know each other better and to try new ways of collaborating, without pitting them against each other. Get away from treating your employees to dinner and drinks. Plan a real engaging activity that requires team building and communication outside of the workplace, such as team trivia night, an ongoing community service project or head to an escape room.
Your business will only be as amazing as your employees are. Although it may seem time consuming at first, becoming a good mediator and investing time to build a real team atmosphere will benefit your business output in the long run. A remote working team should still feel like a team. A virtual office and some online team building activities can still illicit rewarding results.