When a conflict between employees, within teams or between teams resists resolution, the solution might be an External Mediator. The external mediator will first engage in fact finding and submit recommendations. If needed, training might be offered and/or mediation, or personal coaching, depending on the situation.
Coming from outside the company, an External Mediator has important advantages:
Impartiality An external mediator does not represent the company, and does not have personal relationships with the parties, and is therefore perceived as impartial by the employees who are in conflict.
Confidentiality The external mediator offers a confidential process. Only general outcomes, and whatever participants agree to convey, is reported to the company. This is reassuring to employees who are concerned what will be noted in their personnel record.
An outsider's perspective The external mediator brings a fresh view to the situation, offers assessment of the problem, recommends resolution, and has the skills to help resolve the conflict in a constructive and productive way.
An ombudsperson is a skilled dispute resolution professional who is available to staff at all levels of the company as a consultant. The ombudsperson engages mostly in helping people sort out their issues themselves - at home and at work.
The best way to deal with issues in the workplace is to do so early, before the problem escalates in severity and expands to include more people. The Ombuds service helps attain this goal. It can be based on a presence in the workplace a few hours a week and on phone consultations. This service is offered by Interpeople as part of a long term contractual relationship with the company.