Resolving Conflict In The Workplace Resolving Hypothetical Workplace Issues.

1570 words - 6 pages

Resolving Conflict in the WorkplaceI wanted to highlight some points of conflict we have had in the office and how they were resolved. There are cases where the resolution was successful and others where we needed to look at the conflict a second time to get all parties in agreement.As you know, we have a formal policy regarding sexual harassment in the workplace. Each year the employees read and sign the policy and it is posted in the break room of each department (Heathfield). Recently, an employee reported an incidence of sexual harassment by a coworker. I met with the employee and took her statement, and I guaranteed her that she is safe from retaliation. The victim appeared very upset and was most interested in having the behavior stopped. She was afraid that she might sound childish by reporting the harassment and did not want it to go any further within the company. She did not see a need to involve a third party or consider prosecution; she simply wanted to stop the harassment (Bond, 1997, p. 16).I interviewed the accused employee and as required by law, advised him who had accused him. I informed him of what the accuser said and gave him a chance to explain his part of the story. He too wanted the sexual harassment complaint taken care of as quickly and confidentially as possible. He also wanted to meet with the accuser to apologize however; there were inferences that he blamed the victim for the situation (Bond, 1997, p. 16). I informed the accused that there would be no retaliation on either party's part and that for the time being, they should not be alone together.I had each employee provide a written statement of their side of the story to go along with my notes taken during the interviews (Law Office Management & Administration Report [LOMAR], 2001, p. 7). I believe the best way to resolve this type of incident is through mediation. The purpose of mediation is to reach an agreement for future behavior and not to place blame on either person whereas, going to court would be more confrontational and could not guarantee confidentiality (Hicks, 2000). Litigation is also not good for the company, it costs more than mediation, since it becomes public knowledge it could cause employees in the office to take sides, and it would be more difficult for the employees to return to work (Koller Whittenbury, 1997, p. 13). In addition, the negative publicity can contribute to the loss of clients and investors. Both the victim and her accused agreed to mediation for resolving this conflict.At the beginning of the mediation, the mediator listened to both sides of the harassment complaint while everyone was present first having each employee talk directly to the mediator and then to each other. The mediator then met with each person separately to get a better understanding of the issues and get some ideas to resolve the dispute. The mediator then returned to the room and tried to get each employee to understand the other's perspective though they...

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