Why An Ombuds?

A Clear Pathway
for better success

Who said, “Timing is everything.”? It may have been painted on the wall of a cave. But it’s certainly true about the pain of tough problems. There are compelling reasons to find an early solution.
Need for a Pathway
through the problems

In 2008, an international study found 89% of employees have experienced workplace conflict that escalated, and project failure was cited as a common result.  In the beginning, the problems may seem inconsequential.

Experience may tell you there is nothing you can do about them. Your formal grievance process is about remediation and perhaps compensation, so it’s often confrontational and unfair. Certainly the consultants, workshops, and trainings have not stopped the problems or diminished their effects on your bottom line.

By helping Ombuds “visitors” discover options and generate their own solutions before the problems escalate, an Ombuds empowers and helps “visitors” develop skills for coping. This increases employee satisfactions, cooperation, and communication, as well as productivity. It also supports an ethical and fair organizational culture that builds self-responsibility.

An Ombuds is the best
Path to Prevention

The table sets out some of the advantages an Ombuds offers against more conventional complaint and grievance procedures. The Ombuds process is very effective in difficult situations.

Contrary to popular myths, real solutions are not about giving up something to get something, splitting the difference, giving in, or sacrificing what’s truly important.  Genuine solutions often surprise and reward because they come from:

1. Focusing on solutions instead of problems, on issues rather than personalities.

2. Generating new information to expand possibilities that make for better decisions.

3. Concentrating on the big picture—on dollars, not pennies.

4. Clearing obstacles so that everyone can achieve what they really need.

5. Putting Ombuds visitors in control instead of merely reacting.

This approach is even advantageous over adversarial mediation because it resolves potential problems at their inception and more effectively quiets a visitor’s internal disharmony.

Clear benefits

With an Ombuds, outcomes become more predictable and managing risks more possible. Peripheral benefits include mitigation of health costs by reducing the stress associated with conflict that contributes to a variety of health-threatening conditions, such as heart disease, premature aging, and weight gain.

Solving tough disputes before they become expensive problems also lowers compliance costs and enables more focus on the job at hand with more productivity.  In addition to increasing employee satisfaction and productivity, an Ombuds program aids employee recruitment, provides a measurable reduction of other employee related costs and a measurable decrease in legal liabilities and related expenses. It will also improve utilization of valuable resources, and provide early warnings about new areas of organizational concern.  For more about benefits, see the Ombuds Basics Page.



Develop more under-standing of your team by discovering how the stories they tell them-selves when they have problems affect their performance Download the free chapter from David’s book Conflict Is Not A Sporting Event.


Learn how concerns and problems can actually provide opportunities to improve your business. Your team can grow confident that efficiently dealing with problems will make them stronger and more flexible. Learn more About Us.

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You may have seen some things on this web site that provoked your curiosity: Would it really work in your organiz-ation? Let’s have a confidential, no obligation conversation and explore whether we are a good fit for you.