Mediation is becoming an increasingly popular method for businesses to resolve disputes as it reduces stress, resolves conflict early, restores working relationships and reduces the costs and time taken in going through a formal grievance procedure.
Workplace conflict can take a variety of forms, including employee grievances, disputes between a manager and an employee or simply a personality clash between colleagues.
Workplace conflict can be very stressful and unpleasant for anyone involved and those around them. If left unaddressed, it can also be very costly to a business. It can distract people from their day to day work, can result in employees leaving, or, in a worst case scenario, can even result in an employment tribunal claim being made.
Legislation has resulted in businesses having formal policies and procedures in place to deal with workplace disputes (such as a grievance procedure). However, some situations may be better resolved using a less formal approach. For example, personality clashes are almost impossible to resolve using grievance processes.
ProMediate has a panel of expert mediators with experience in this area including Peter Causton who is head of litigation and employment at Southerns solicitors as well as being Counsel and a mediator. Dawn Stainer and Mike Faulkner are also experienced workplace mediators on the panel.
How does workplace mediation work?
Workplace mediation is a voluntary and confidential process that can be used to attempt to resolve workplace conflict. The mediation is usually carried out by a mediator who works with all parties to try to reach an agreed solution that is satisfactory to everyone involved.
The mediator is an impartial third party and mediation is not a legal process. The mediator’s role is not to make a judgement about who is right and wrong, and mediation tends to be forward looking rather than backward looking. The mediator’s role is to help all parties understand the issues involved and help clarify the options available, with a view to collaborating rather than blaming and to reaching an agreement that suits both sides and resolves the conflict.
The main aim of workplace mediation is to restore and maintain good and productive working relationships going forwards
Why use workplace mediation?
- Mediation can be a cost-efficient way to resolve what could become a costly legal dispute
- Mediation offers a way for employment disputes to be settled confidentially
- Mediation can offer a quicker and more flexible approach to resolving workplace disputes than formal grievance processes or even employment tribunal hearings.
When to consider workplace mediation
Workplace mediation is often successful for many types of situation in the workplace including:
- Where there is perceived bullying, harassment or discrimination
- Pay or contractual disputes
- Rebuilding a working relationship following a formal disciplinary/grievance process
- Providing an alternative to formal disciplinary/grievance procedures
- Issues arising from mergers and acquisitions
- Helping colleagues to form effective working relationships where a personality clash has arisen
- Disputes between business partners
- Disputes with customers or along the supply chain
What outcome can I expect from workplace mediation?
The best outcome in mediation is that all parties come to a mutually agreed resolution to overcome the conflict, which will allow a good working relationship to be restored. Everyone will have had a chance to be heard, which can help to improve the understanding of both sides into how things can be improved and the past put to bed.
However, mediation is dependent on the willingness and openness of the parties involved to reach a solution.
If an agreement is reached through the mediation process, then a binding document can be drawn up for both parties to enter in to.
How can Promediate assist with workplace mediation?
ProMediate has fully trained workplace mediators who can independently help to solve employee issues and disputes through mediation.
Typically, we would allow one day for each mediation session and there is also additional contact made with all parties, in the lead up to and following mediation. It is essential that all individuals are willing to participate in the mediation process, in order for mediation to take place.
Get in touch about workplace mediation
Please fill out the enquiry form below to arrange a free consultation or to simply ask a question of our Mediators. Alternatively, please call us any time to discuss how we can help