Sometimes workplace issues are easier to solve when an impartial person helps to create the solution. Therefore, at various points in the discipline process, the employee or organization might want to bring in someone to help with problem solving. Rather than turning to the courts every time an outsider is desired, more and more organizations are using alternative dispute resolution (ADR). A variety of ADR techniques shows promise for resolving disputes in a timely, constructive and cost – effective manner.
These can be viewed as:-
Open Door Policy – on the expectation that two people in conflict should first try to arrive at a settlement together, the organization has a policy of making managers available to hear complaints. Typically, the first “open door” is that of the employees immediate supervisor and if the employee does not get a resolution from that person, the employee may appeal to managers at higher levels. This policy works only to the degree that managers who hear complaints listen and are able to act.
Peer Review if the people in conflict cannot reach an agreement, they take their conflict to a panel composed of representatives from the organization at the same levels as the people in the dispute. The panel hears the case and tries to help the parties arrive at a settlement.
Mediation if the peer review does not lead to a settlement, a neutral party from outside the organization hears the case and tries to help the people in conflict arrive at a settlement. The process is not binding, meaning the mediator cannot force a solution.
Arbitration if meditation fails, a professional arbitrator from outside the organization hears the case and resolves it by making a decision. Most arbitrators are experienced employment lawyers or retired judges. The employee and employer both have to accept the person’s decision.
Each stage reflects a somewhat broader involvement of people outside the dispute. The hope is that conflict will be resolved at earlier stages, at which the costs, time and impact of employees and organizational stake holders is lowest.