When you “signed up” to take a leadership position, did anyone hand you a training manual on handling situations like….accusations of bullying or harassment...deep-seated and destructive tensions between teams causing absenteeism and attrition...a toxic partner who’s about to sabotage the startup…a high-performing employee who can’t get along with anyone…a simple dispute that ends up in litigation?
No, probably not!
Most leaders and managers aren’t trained to deal with issues that will arise due to differences in gender, culture, childhood experience, personalities, interpersonal styles – any number of factors that can cause differing, and often highly-emotional, points of view. Yet these conflicts can escalate into workplace-wrenching situations that will negatively affect productivity and profits.
Few professionals or leaders are trained in conflict management – this is where your friendly neighborhood Organizational Ombuds comes in. More and more businesses of all sizes are embedding Ombuds services into their organizations, trusted advisors who can provide support in all kinds of areas – proactive conflict awareness, conflict diagnosis, coaching, training, team development, company policy updates and compliance, shuttle diplomacy, mediation and more.
“We have an HR Department, isn’t that enough?”
Yes...and no. What distinguishes an Organizational Ombuds is that we provide what the internal organizational system cannot: a no-barrier resource for everyone from intern to C-Suite; confidentiality, protecting identities and information shared; independence, serving the organization but not working on behalf of the organization; impartiality, taking no sides, but working to address issues in a way that allows everyone involved to be treated fairly and in good faith.
So, why are smart businesses reaching out to Organizational Ombuds?
Here are 10 profitable reasons why:
Reduced Costs: Creates a healthy workplace environment which reduces employee turnover, wasted time, sick days, and 35 other costs.
Fewer Disputes: Provides a space for very early intervention that heads off negative conflict before it escalates. Unresolved disputes lead to disgruntled employees, and lower morale decreases productivity.
More Innovation: Increases and encourages open communication, employee empowerment and creativity which leads to a vibrant exchange of ideas, resulting in innovation and positive change.
Productivity Gains: Brings measurable results in a proven cost-effective way: 1:5 Cost-effectiveness Ratio ($ Cost of Ombudsman Services : Savings/Productivity Gain).
Boosts Transparency: Creates an environment of trust and communication that encourages company pride and participation.
Uncovers Unspeakables: Impartial presence and discreet facilitation allows safe conversations about thefts and illegal or unethical behaviors.
Builds Teamwork: Develops and sustains a team culture that is more productive, positive, efficient and nimble.
Systems View: Acts as an early warning system for issues often unknown to management so they can be dealt with in a timely manner before they escalate.
Training: Provides awareness-building, mentoring, and on-site coaching to leadership and teams, teaching tools and skills for respectful communication, problem-solving and “constructive conflict.”
Happy Employees. A survey of 400+ global organizations with over 40,000 anonymous responses showed that a happy workplace means management transparency, peer-to-peer recognition, and being heard and respected (it’s not about the money). Check, check, and check!