Why Workplace Mediation Makes a Big Difference
Workplace conflict is not only disruptive, it can be costly too. In fact, a recent study found that the average employee spends one day a month dealing with conflict, which translates to 370 million working days lost in the UK every year (1).
Certain situations, such as harassment or discrimination, are likely to require more formal action. However, a number of other scenarios can be successfully resolved with professional mediation – saving time and money in the process.
What Does Mediation Involve?
These days, employment legislation actively recommends workplace mediation – recognising its value for businesses across the UK. Essentially, successful mediation requires an impartial third-party, who works with all affected individuals (either separately or together), to arrive at a satisfactory resolution for all involved.
An accredited mediator will not focus on assigning blame. Instead, they’ll identify the underlying issues, then work with the parties to come up with a range of potential solutions to address them.
Here’s an example of how workplace mediation might work in practice.
- Firstly, your mediator will talk to all involved parties, explaining how mediation works and what the benefits are.
- They’ll then identify the key issues contributing to the conflict, and check that you want to proceed with the process.
- Next, the mediator will arrange a series of meetings with all people involved, which are face-to-face. Sometimes, this might be with one affected person in private, at other times, everyone might be in attendance.
- After giving all involved employees that chance to air their views, the mediator then focuses on developing a strategy to resolve the issue. Staff and management are encouraged to take an active role in this process.
The Benefits of Mediation
- Prevents issues from escalating. In the workplace, it makes better sense to address minor issues before they become large-scale problems. An accredited mediation service can either come to your office, or work with staff in a specified location, to resolve the situation quickly and efficiently.
- The advantages of communication. Staff tend to feel more valued when their grievances are heard – particularly by a professional who understands what questions to ask and what proactive suggestions to make.
- The cheaper option. A good mediator is considerably more cost-effective than a court case, making it the favoured option for businesses across the UK.
- Reduces recruitment hassle. If a member of staff resigns due to conflict, this then requires you to source and hire another employee to take their place – a time-consuming and expensive process. It’s far better to retain your existing staff, by showing them that their happiness in the workplace is a top priority.
Accredited Mediation Services in the South-West
Harris Law are accredited mediators (CPD) in Devon, working with companies to resolve conflict in the workplace, in addition to offering specialist HR services and advice on employment law. To find out more about our services, call 01803 861086 today.