Workplace Mediation is a completely voluntary and confidential way to resolve informal and formal conflict at work. It involves a professionally trained, independent, impartial person helping two or more individuals or groups to reach a solution that’s acceptable to everyone. The workplace mediator doesn’t make judgments or determine outcomes – they ask questions. Questions that help to uncover underlying problems, questions that help the parties to understand the issues, questions to help them to clarify the options for resolving their differences.
So part of the answer to the question “What is workplace mediation?” is that it’s a way of finding a way forward, it focuses on working together to go forward, not determining who was right or wrong in the past. It doesn’t guarantee an answer, it can’t, but what it can guarantee is the chance to resolve conflict more constructively.
Mediation can be used in a variety of settings, for example
- misunderstandings / conflict between colleagues
- misunderstandings / conflict between staff and managers
- perceptions of harassment, discrimination or bullying
- communication difficulties
Mediation complements formal procedures for workplace issues and is based on the principle of collaborative problem solving with a focus on the future and rebuilding relationships. A successful mediation should lead to both parties feeling that the outcome is fair, reasonable and appropriate under the circumstances. We recommend that mediation be included in Grievance Procedures as a step before instigating the formal grievance process and in some cases following the conclusion of the grievance process as it gives the parties the chance to repair their employment relationship and agree how future interactions will be handled.
Many kinds of dispute can be mediated if those involved want to find a way forward. It can be used at any stage in a dispute but is most effective before positions become entrenched.
What is workplace mediation?
- it’s a quick to set up potential solution to a tense employee situation
- it’s often a lot less costly than dealing with an unproductive work environment and the stress that conflict creates
- it’s a positive step to getting those involved in the outcomes they want
- it’s more constructive, helping to restore working relationships rather than destroying them
Metis HR is a professional HR Consultancy based in the North West of England supporting clients across the country. We specialise in providing outsourced HR services to small and medium-sized businesses. Call us now on 01706 565332 to discuss how we may help you.
We can now provide on-site mentoring services designed to resolve workplace conflicts between employees who have previously worked well together. For further details email Ali Penney on firstname.lastname@example.org
Call us now on 01706 565332 to discuss how workplace mediation can help you now.