If you’re facing a possible lawsuit as a result of conflict between employees, it’s important to know what options you have to resolve the issue before the court gets involved. Researching mediation services and strategies can be a helpful place to start as mediation is often a cheaper and more private solution to expensive and public litigation. But keep in mind that there are a few common drawbacks to using pre-litigation mediation that could be worth knowing as you make your decision.
There may be times when you can utilize informal conflict resolution strategies before moving on to mediation or litigation. Here are some drawbacks to pre-litigation mediation.
Mediation costs money which both or either party may pay. While mediation for employees in conflict may be less costly than a trial, it may still be less cost-effective than handling the conflict with internal conflict resolution strategies. That’s why it can be helpful to utilize all of your resources in-house before deciding to utilize outside mediation services.
No Guaranteed Resolution
Pre-litigation mediation has been known to end without the involved parties coming to a mutual consensus on a solution. Money, time, and emotional energy may be channeled into the mediation process only to find that the court is the only path to a solution. Unsuccessful mediations also tend to make court cases a little more difficult as each party has been made aware of the desires and strategies of the other.
No Formal Process
A pro and con for mediation is that there’s no formal process. Where this can become a disadvantage is if you get an unskilled mediator who does not hold enough structure, rules, and expectations to avoid coming to an impasse. Utilizing conflict resolution training effectively within your own team could have similar or better impacts than pre-litigation mediation in this case.
Mediation relies on both parties to communicate and cooperate. This can be a mediation disadvantage if either or both parties have demonstrated early warning signs of refusal to cooperate with each other or approach the mediation rationally rather than entirely emotionally. Because there’s no discovery process in mediation as there would be in court, there’s the added risk that the other involved party might not be sharing everything they have to prove your claim.
Difficulty Striking Fairness
The pre-litigation mediation process relies heavily on the disputing parties and they may differ in experience and understanding of the mediation process. Certain power dynamics or personality clashes can also contribute to one party getting an unfair advantage over the other, leading to an unfair resolution.
Managing conflict between employees doesn’t always have to come down to pre-litigation mediation. Get support from experts in the field of peace and conflict management and find resolution on your own terms. Contact Pollack Peacebuilding Systems today to get the right solutions for your team.