The question of why an employer should provide an Employee Mediation Benefit that addresses personal conflicts such as divorce or child custody, in addition to internal workplace issues, is not surprising – especially in these economic times.
The news is rife with stories of rising benefit costs and falling revenues. Employers are more likely to cut voluntary benefit programs versus adding a new one. An Employee Mediation Benefit, which can be added for little or no cost is one that can significantly reduce the impact interpersonal conflicts have on productivity.
By promoting mediation as the preferred means of conflict resolution for life’s problems, employers are ensuring their employees are able to resolve their personal conflicts with the least amount of added stress, time, or expense. Mediation has the added benefit of having a great level of long-term effectiveness and adherence to settlement agreements. Participants in mediation no only agree to all aspects of the settlement, they also develop improved communication skills, resulting in less future conflict.
Encouraging employees to access mediation to solve personal conflicts, versus traditional legal intervention, means less likelihood that the issue will bleed into the workplace and affect general productivity. Employees that are going through a divorce or custody battle are likely to have increased absenteeism, presenteeism, interpersonal conflict, and stress levels. They are likely to be preoccupied causing additional workplace stress as well.
Unlike litigation, or traditional legal intervention, mediation is a means of establishing an efficient and effective resolution, which frees employees to focus on their jobs not their problems. An employer’s minimal financial investment is rewarded with focused employees who see their employers as providing a valuable benefit that resolves the conflict quickly and effectively.