The value of using mediation to resolve issues between employees in the workplace cannot be underestimated. Time-consuming procedures such as grievances and disciplinary action may be avoided and you could save yourself a hefty legal bill if you avoid having to defend a case in an employment tribunal.
Mediation can help to avoid staff sickness, turnover and the negative impact on wellbeing for the employees concerned and the wider team. Mediation is a cost-effective solution. The process can create goodwill and can improve the workplace environment for all employees if a matter can be mediated successfully.

Types of conflicts

Disagreements between employees or teams or managers and employees are not uncommon and it is important to try to resolve these at the earliest opportunity.
Conflicts between a manager and an employee with allegations of bullying, harassment or discrimination can happen in the workplace. Some matters will need to be investigated as possible disciplinary matters but others can be resolved with mediation. Boardroom and executive level disputes can result in grievances being raised and even employment tribunals. Avoiding the cost of managing these issues is paramount. Dealing with matters early and seeking help from an HR Consultant or mediator can help avoid escalation of the problem and can help to promote a healthier working environment. Conflict coaching is also a service that can be provided by HR Think if it can help a leader manage difficult situations within their team.

Spending time managing a conflict

The disruption to daily business and time spent managing a conflict can be very time-consuming. Having a neutral professional to investigate complaints or the issues arising can be helpful. Using a mediator, if all parties agree, can be a cost-effective way to spend less time and money on resolving the workplace conflict.

How can a mediator help?

Opening lines of communication can be the key to resolving workplace disputes. It can be hard to be objective if you are trying to resolve issues with your colleagues. Unlocking understanding in both parties’ point of view can be the way forward. I provide mediation services to employers on a regular basis. As a third party and a neutral person new to the conflict, I am not there to judge but simply to help the parties agree the way forward. Mediation is not always considered by employers but allowing matters to escalate should not be an option – it can only make matters harder to deal with.
A mediator may also be asked to help as part of a formal grievance outcome.

Open and honest dialogue

-Our mediators can provide an environment in which disputing parties can have an open and honest dialogue. The process is voluntary and, if the parties agree, it can mean that they are open to finding a resolution. Mediation is not about determining who was right and who was wrong but simply to understand the situation from all points of view. It can be an emotional process but can be worth the work. The process is less formal than other procedures. All matters discussed are confidential although the broad outcome will be communicated to the employer.

Collaboration


The idea of mediation is to give all parties an equal say and to collaborate on a solution. Sometimes the parties can be seen separately and sometimes together. Again, the parties will decide. Getting them to have a conversation can be something that hasn’t happened so far and can point them towards a mutually agreeable solution.

No blame

Securing a mutually acceptable outcome is key during the mediation process and no party will be blamed for the situation. Compromise is key. Obviously, some parties will be entrenched and unable to compromise but if the affected employees are willing, mediation can be an invaluable process.

If you need a workplace mediation or conflict coaching to help your employees through conflict then do get in touch. Liz Jewer 07803 007591 or liz.jewer@hrthink.co.uk

Get in touch

Contact Liz Jewer on 07803 007591 if you need advice about this topic or HR related services HR Think offer.