Grievances are a waste of time! - Or are they?

Claire Vane
June 2, 2023

I heard Barrister and experienced mediator, Antony Sendall, speaking at a conference recently where I was also speaking - in my case, on using psychometrics as a mechanism for resolving conflict. 
As an experienced workplace mediator, Antony Sendall was articulating what I had long considered to be the case, that mediation and other conflict resolution mechanisms, could be more effective than grievances. 
With tensions often running high in the workplace in periods of stress following COVID, we are seeing a large number of grievances. There are a number of overt and hidden costs associated with grievances which I have noticed over the last thirty years or so. 
Grievances, as Sendall said:
• Rarely work
• Seek to allocate blame
• Take far too long and are therefore expensive
• Do not resolve issues
• Affect morale negatively
• Don’t help staff engagement
• Don’t help retention
• Tend to multiply
Additionally, they also involve lost opportunity cost while managers at various levels are involved in dealing with them.
It seems to me, and this was the theme of Sendall’s argument, that there are better ways to resolve conflict. 
While Sendall was promulgating the need for good mediation, with which I would absolutely concur, I was also postulating that psychometrics can be used as an additional mechanism very effectively and quickly to resolve workplace disputes and conflict. 
Mediation and non-procedural mechanisms for resolving conflict can empower people and transform the conflict into new behaviour. Everybody wants to be heard and needs to have an opportunity to speak their truth. The process is as important as the outcome. Eliciting what is really being said authentically can lead to honest reflection and improved communications.
If you would like to discuss a different approach to conflict and its resolution, please do get in touch. We have qualified mediators and psychometricians on our team.

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