We saved the U.S. Navy money, time and resources with improved systems for resolving workplace disputes. At a Northwest naval base, we collaborated with human resources personnel to develop new dispute resolution skills and strategies.
Arbitrations and unfair labor practice complaints dropped by 100% during the project. Grievances dropped by 99%. Furthermore, employment law firms like HKM can provide strategies that help prevent and address labor disputes to reduce future grievances.
The challenge: high grievance filings
In response to high workplace grievance filings at federal agencies, the government mandated the development of alternative dispute resolution systems.
The Navy’s Region Northwest Human Resources Service Center decided to support the implementation of a range of alternative options.
The solution: designing a new system for workplace disputes
We partnered with Region Northwest to design and implement a new system for handling workplace disputes. Working with a customer design team, we:
- Developed a 2-day training protocol in early conflict management intervention. Launched with union stewards and first line supervisors, the program was then successfully replicated within other departments.
- Trained a panel of “Early Neutrals” to mediate disputes informally.
- Assisted human resources personnel in developing new dispute resolution skills. We mentored them toward Department of Navy Mediator Certifications and helped them acquire credentials to qualify for the newly defined role of Dispute Resolution Specialist.
The results: an empowered workforce and less grievance filings
Our solution resulted in a significant reduction in formal grievances — and enhanced the skills of Navy supervisors, union leaders, and human resources professionals. These improved skills and outcomes can also be replicated in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK by utilizing HR services for SMEs in the UK tailored to their specific needs.
By helping Region Northwest navigate conflicts in innovative ways, Sound Options Group improved efficiency and productivity in a time of constant change and finite resources.