Picture this. Jim and Tabitha are two outstanding employees on your team. Jim is an older, gay white male. Tabitha is an Asian woman in her 30's. They've been working together well for years. But something happened and now they barely speak to each other. Group emails about the current project quickly become tense. You recently heard that a third member of the team, Michael, has been acting as a go-between. Whatever is going on needs to be addressed ASAP because the project is running behind schedule and your client is demanding answers. You have several options.
- Shrug and Do Nothing: Tensions rise. The project gets done, but 2 months behind schedule. The client was livid and twisted your arm for a 10% discount off the final bill: $65,000. Tabitha starts to come into work late and call out sick. After several warnings, you decide to fire her, but she quits first. She's a high end web developer and it takes 3 months and $40,000 replace her. Worse, you hear from Michael that she's talking lawsuit. You still don't know what the hell happened!
- Respond The Way People Did 10 Years Ago: You mean well, but you don't want to get into the he said, she said. So you order diversity/sensitivity training for the entire office and hope that it works itself out. The 3-hour training costs $6,000. Some people found it helpful, others felt judged and constrained. It had no effect on the dynamic between Jim and Tabitha.
- Get Effective, Onsite Conflict Resolution: You bring in a mediator for about $3000. She talks to Jim one-on-one, then to Tabitha. Finally, she gets them in a room together for a mediation. It's two hours of yelling and crying about two incidents at the holiday party. But in the end, there's a hug. Aware how much their arguments have affected the team, they come to you- together-with ideas about how to get the project back on track.
If you do nothing, it costs you $105,000 and you have a fired employee, a late project, an angry client and a lawsuit. If you respond the way they did 10 years ago, it costs you $6000, your office gets an important training, but the dispute is no better. Option 3 is the only one that saves money, helps your staff, maintains your company's fought for reputation, and decreases legal costs. Chose conflict resolution!
Fisher Law Practice provides effective onsite help with conflicts and communication. We also provide training to get people talking. We can come in for a one-time issue, or be available to your staff on a monthly basis. Call us today: 917-819-5656.