Employment and Migration Blog

Managing Workplace Relationships – Part 1

Posted by Anna Ford on 27 Sep 2013

Mediation could save your career…and life

 

What started as a minor disagreement between Alex Andrasch and another employee almost turned into an ugly scene with Andrasch narrowly escaping getting his ‘head bashed to pieces’.  The other employee was a trained kick boxer and Muay Thai fighter who became enraged when Andrasch questioned his martial arts credentials. Andrasch, also a martial arts fighter, told the employee he had no idea what he was talking about when he heard the employee explaining how to defeat someone who uses Kung Fu - this deeply angered the employee who in response told colleagues that he planned to attack Andrasch once he got him alone.

 

 

Fortunately their boss noticed the tension and took appropriate measures to avoid any further confrontation. Essentially their boss spoke to both employees separately, and was ultimately able to get them together to sort our their differences and clear up some misunderstandings.

 

Mediation

 

The steps that Andrasch’s boss/employer took to address the issue and deal with both employees is a perfect example of the efficiency and effectiveness of workplace mediation to handle disputes. Mediation works best when all parties trust that they can speak openly and without prejudice and all parties genuinely want a resolution.

 

Tips for successful Mediation

 

- Address the issue early;

 

- Explain the mediator’s role and how the process of mediation works;

 

- Allocate adequate time for mediation to take place;

 

- Involve someone with the authority to make decisions if need be; and

 

- Where appropriate consider engaging a qualified external mediator.

 

If you need advice on managing employee relationships in your business or assistance with conducting workplace mediations please contact our experienced employment lawyers to discuss your options today on (02) 9635 6422.