(Source CABA, reported in CIPD People Management magazine, Feb 2018).
Disagreements and conflicts are part of life and in some workplaces
They can lead to problems that have far-reaching and negative consequences. Typical problems that a person may bring to a workplace mediation relate to allegations of poor communication, problems with someone’s attitude, rudeness, bullying and harassment, or some form of discrimination.
Mediation offers a professional and impartial intervention, which allows the involved parties to discuss their difficulties, in order to work towards mutual understanding and resolution. Although there are no guarantees of success, mediation can increase the chances of a more constructive outcome.
Ten Major Benefits of Work Place Mediation
- Encourages an open and constructive problem-solving approach.
- Promotes constructive communication.
- Contributes to establishing and maintaining a more positive and comfortable work culture.
- Enables better performance and productivity.
- Increases job satisfaction and retention of staff.
- Improves staff relationships.
- Promotes an environment of respectful co-operation and company management.
- Decreases levels of conflict, stress and anxiety.
- Helps to reduce occurrence of company complaints or claims.
The Mediation Process
The mediation process can be broken down into four main stages. Throughout these stages you can see, how a clear path and aims are drawn out, in order to reach the best outcome for all concerned parties.
The first stage will be for parties, involved in the dispute to individually talk with the mediator, in order to gain a picture of the different issues and viewpoints.
A date to meet at an acceptable venue is then set, where structured discussion takes place. This can last anything from a few hours to a day. A mediation rarely takes more than a day, but this can occur if a team is in dispute.
The mediation process involves expression and clarification of the issues, development of possible outcomes and working out what options and choices are possible.
The final goal is for disputants to commit to honouring an agreement. This agreement sets out a resolution strategy, incorporating how they will better manage problems in the future.