Salaries do matter. And pay plans that are developed and administered without transparency and employee buy-in can cause far more trouble than they are worth.
How do you get sensitive pay issues resolved quickly without undermining your pay structure, equity, and philosophy? Try mediation, which has become a best practice in many companies recently.
Mediation of workplace issues is speedier and less costly than traditional internal and legal processes. Importantly, mediation allows both employers and employees to be in control of the decisions made. No one’s interests are conceded to outsiders.
Increasingly, employers in the US are testing the waters of workplace mediation. Bloomberg BNA notes that in 2014 the number of workplace mediations held increased 18% over the preceding 24 months. The NY Times has similar reports. And The Washington Post writes recently that it appears it is the employers that are driving much of the voluntary growth in the use of mediation, not unions or courts.
The stats on mediation success remain difficult to come by. Suffice it to say, however, that employers are listening to their employees, their employee relations’ professionals, and their attorneys about the need to decrease the time involved in complaint resolution, and improve confidentiality. Mediation accomplishes both.
Employer handbooks are being rewritten to reduce company response times. Employees, including management, are demanding to have pay concerns decided upon in a matter of days. They don’t understand, and won’t sign up for, procedures and bureaucracy that require them to wait for 6 months or a year.
Some companies have turned to in-house mediation programs to host issues in a more congenial and cooperative atmosphere. Others prefer outside mediation since it offers greatly reduced costs and minimal staff commitments. Either way, employees, their employers, and their representatives are looking to workplace mediation as the tool to resolve issues — because the traditional approach simply does not satisfy.
Do you receive general employee questions or formal complaints about pay? Consider workplace mediation to resolve pay issues quickly and privately.
Employee buy-in to pay policy does matter — to your managers, to your employees, and to your public image.