M is for...

M is for...Question for you. What has everyone been doing during lockdown?


Buying puppies and making babies of course!!


With that in mind there is a good possibility that you may have some maternity, paternity or shared parental leave coming up in the next few months. Do you have a policy to deal with these? What do you need to do as an employer when an employee tells you she is having a baby?


If you are unsure, head over to peoplepillar.co.uk/toolkits to look at my Family Friendly Toolkit.  All of the templates and guidance that you need from £175.


Following maternity we also have mediation.


If you manage staff it's inevitable that at some point you will have experienced some conflict within your team. 


When this happens is quite tricky for an employer to decide who's right and who's wrong. 


A breakdown in working relationships may be due to a personality clash, cultural differences or poor communications.


Working remotely can add fuel to the fire, where it is very easy for wires to get crossed especially when you can’t always read the body language in the room.


Managing conflict remotely is a toughie. Doing nothing and hoping they sort it out might work in some cases but it is still likely to have an impact on productivity, sickness absence and engagement levels. It also has the potential to draw in other members of the team as well. 


There are some things you can do to manage things in a healthy way:


  • Reach out. Check in with people regularly, not only about tasks but also on a personal level. Foster team interaction with social video calls.


  • Try not to take sides. If there seems to be an issue between colleagues, don’t make assumptions and remember to stay impartial. Empathy and compassion will support colleagues to share their different points of view.


  • Don’t put your head in the sand. If you see colleagues in conflict, reach out to them. Encourage people to act quickly and have a direct conversation. Don’t avoid addressing conflict just because we’re not working physically together. Remote working could be the norm for many months.


  • Get support if required. Small business owners need the confidence and skills to manage conflict, which they can gain through training in difficult conversations or conflict management skills. If individuals are unable to resolve a conflict, consider bringing in an independent third-party to facilitate in a mediation session.


Whilst you may want to bang heads together it's absolutely crucial that we nip it in the bud before things escalate. In many scenarios I may be able to resolve the issue early by facilitating a meeting between the staff which may only take an hour. 


However, for more deep rooted conflict, formal mediation has a very high success rate and it's certainly significantly cheaper than a tribunal case for all parties. 


To put it simply, mediation is a useful method of either rebuilding relationships or finding an alternative route forward. 


Get in touch below so we can arrange no obligation, free consultation and I'll be very honest about whether it is this is the correct route for your business and staff.


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