Mediation in Resolving Workplace Disputes

Where there are people who are working or co-existing together, it is hard to avoid conflicts. However, smart people resolve and rise above the disputes.

Workplace mediation is a process of inviting an impartial mediator to help parties in the workplace resolve their issues amicably. Since its inception, workplace mediation service has proven to be effective in ensuring there is peaceful co-existence in the workplace.

Conflicts in the workplace arise from various human resource issues such as change management, interpersonal difficulties, injury, and working conditions. Contact us to find out more

Here in the UK, workplace mediation is being embraced as a culture of many organizations.

This has reduced downtime and low productivity associated with unresolved conflicts. If not resolved on time, conflicts in the workplace can result in people losing focus on their duties, an employee leaving, or even making an employment tribunal.

It is always prudent to recognize conflicts early enough. Taking action to a potential disagreement can help save money, time, and avoid stress.

Where Can Workplace Mediation Be Applied?

Several situations may call for the application of workplace mediation.

These situations include:

  • Compensation disputes
  • Where there are allegations of bullying and harassment
  • Rejuvenating a working relationship
  • Helping colleagues to reconcile after having a personal clash
  • To set up an alternative to formal grievance or disciplinary procedures

How Does Workplace Mediation Work?

As said earlier, this is a confidential and voluntary process geared towards resolving conflicts at the workplace. The process is led by an impartial, trained mediator who reasons with the affected parties to reach an agreement that satisfies all parties.

This process is different from litigation. In mediation, the mediator does not make a judgment but instead helps the involved parties to comprehend the issue at hand, and find out the available solutions. The aim of reconciliation in the workplace is to restore normalcy and maintain good working relationships.

The Mediation Process

The process kicks off by appointing a mediator. The mediation is briefed on the issue at hand orally and through any relevant supporting documentation. The briefing is aimed at helping the mediator understand the background of the dispute and form a concrete base of discussion.

 

The mediator then invites involved parties and requests them to sign up for the mediation agreement. The mediation agreement outlines that the mediation process has the sole purpose of attempting to settle the dispute. This means that any views given through word of mouth or in writing cannot be used in any legal proceeding in the future. Unlike in legal procedures, reaching a solution in mediation is not guaranteed.

The process can be conducted remotely through a telephone or any other online platform. However, most mediators are inclined to carrying out the process in a neutral venue with all the parties present. Each party has the right to privacy, thus can opt to discuss their issues with the mediator in a private room.

Therefore, the mediator will spend time with each of the parties differently before speaking to them in a shared room. At this stage, the mediator gains deep insight into the critical issues concerning the dispute. In addition, the mediator asks the parties to give their views on how the dispute can be resolved. The mediator will treat information from all parties with utmost confidentiality and can only disclose it when permitted by the concerned party.

The mediation process involves the mediator going back and forth to the parties until an agreement is reached.

 

This process is different from litigation. In mediation, the mediator does not make a judgment but instead helps the involved parties to comprehend the issue at hand, and find out the available solutions. The aim of reconciliation in the workplace is to restore normalcy and maintain good working relationships.

Why Mediation Is the Best Option in Resolving Workplace Disputes

  • Unlike other conflict solving methods, mediation is cost effective
  • This is a confidential process thus can’t tarnish the company reputation
  • Through mediation, a dispute is resolved faster and flexibly compared to employment tribunal litigation

When Is Mediation Not Appropriate?

In some scenarios, mediation isn’t the best approach to resolve a conflict. Here are some issues that make it hard to apply mediation in solving conflicts:

  • When the issue at hand involves serious allegations, which may require a formal response from the company.
  • When the issue is associated with the conduct of others
  • When the process may worsen the situation or pose harm to participants
  • When the parties believe that mediation is a waste of time and can’t provide a solution to their dispute
  • Where the participants have deep-rooted personal enmity

When all parties are willing to reach an agreement, mediation can be a potent and transformative process that can help participants to co-exist peacefully. Also, the process can go a long way in mending broken workplace relationships. It can also safeguard the company reputation by avoiding disruptive formal methods. Contact us today!

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