Suppose you have been recently hired as the first full time staff member charged with handling employee relations. You are entering a large accounting firm with an unusually high staff turnover rate and several recent defections by company accounts.
Dispute System Design (DSD) is the process of identifying, designing, employing, and evaluating an effective means of resolving conflicts within an organization. In order to be effective, dispute systems must be thoroughly thought out and carefully designed.
As the new employee relations manager your first step in this process is to diagnose the causes of disputes in your organization. A focus on prevention and early intervention can produce significant savings and greatly improve employee relations and morale.
There are three broad questions you must ask when diagnosing your organization:
- What kinds of disputes typically occur in your business? How often do these conflicts arise and who is involved?
- How does the company currently handle disputes? What are the costs and benefits of the ways management currently approaches conflict?
- Are conflicts dealt with by asserting rights and power? If so, why?
The answers to these questions should give you the basic information you will need to adequately identify sources of disputes in your organization and will begin to shed light on potential ways you can structure a potential system.