Alternative Dispute Resolution for the Workplace



More and more often, we are asked to intervene in services or organizations where there are difficulties of cooperation and teamwork, often related to conflicts expressed or not.

We carry out individual meetings and a certain “diagnosis”, or we intervene directly on the situation.

Most companies much prefer to resolve disputes through negotiation and do so. However, sometimes conflicts reach a point where outside help is needed to resolve them. At these times, it’s important for companies to understand their choices. Specialists can be asked to intervene in a conflict. Mediation help for builders and arbitration are much cheaper than legal action if a company’s dispute goes that far.

Various methods can be used to resolve conflicts. They can be described as a continuum. At one end of the continuum are resolution techniques that do not involve anyone except the parties involved, while at the other end a disinterested third party determines the outcome. Here are some distinctions.


Two or more parties are consulting each other, determined to reach a mutual settlement of their dispute. They seek a solution beneficial to all. The parties involved have a great deal of control over the outcome of the dispute.


A neutral party serves as an intermediary between the two parties in order to restore the relations or to arrive at a resolution of the problem. Conciliation could give a win-win or win-lose solution.


A neutral party makes a decision that binds the conflicting parties. Arbitrage may lead to a win-lose situation or even a loser-loser situation. The parties involved have less control over the outcome of the conflict. Arbitration is a process by which conflicting parties refer their dispute to an arbitrator acceptable to both and formed and agree in advance to be bound by its decision. According to the dispute resolution continuum, arbitration is represented as the process in which the participants have the least control over its outcome. Arbitration is often the path chosen when alternative dispute resolution techniques have not worked.


A neutral third party intervenes between the conflicting parties to help them reconcile their differences or resolve their conflict. The mediator facilitates the process, but does not impose a resolution. Mediation also offers the possibility of arriving at a solution beneficial to all. Mediation is an amicable and confidential process of conflict resolution.

Mediation is appropriate if:

the parties have an interest in maintaining their relations;
other choices were considered, such as negotiation or legal action, but determined that they were less advantageous or impossible;
the parties decided that it was not acceptable not to deal with the conflict, ie avoiding conflict is not the solution;
the issue in dispute is unique rather than general and can be resolved by a change in behavior or an exchange of property.
In the workplace, mediation focuses on putting in place the means to continue working together in a climate that is as serene as possible.

Why is there a mediation?

When a proven conflict between two or more people induces behaviors, attitudes acts impeding the proper functioning of a service or causing suffering among employees of the company.

What is mediation?

It is a way to resolve a conflict amicably with the help of an outside and neutral person, a mediator. This meeting allows the parties in the conflict to discuss and seek one or more solutions that will satisfy them in a fair and equitable manner.

Do you think you have situations that deserve mediation, prevention … before the relationship degenerates ??