Workplace Mediation – Benefits to Employers
Workplace mediation benefits all stakeholders. It is a voluntary process which helps members of the same organisation to settle any differences they have amicably. The process is completely confidential and is guided by an impartial mediator. It works in non-union and union settings, improving communication among team members at any level.
There are several important benefits provided by having caring and impartial mediators work with your team. Employers and employees appreciate the fact that it allows them to reach amicable solutions quickly. Disputes should be mediated as quickly as possible in order to prevent conflicts from souring working relationships or impacting productivity. Speedily addressing disagreements also increases the chances that they will be resolved successfully.
Even people who are hurt and angry can preserve their working relationship once mutual respect is fostered through effective mediation. Mediators help all parties to understand the legitimacy of each person’s point of view. It also allows each individual to more fully understand their own perspective.
The Process of Mediation
A mediator usually consults an organisational representative in advance, with a focus on confidentiality. They establish guidelines with respect to the reports that they will make and learn more about how the conflict initially developed. Mediators meet individually with each person involved. This helps them to understand what drives the individual and how they see the situation.
Conflict coaching is used during these individual meetings in order to help each stakeholder expand on their communication skills even more. Team members learn how to hear what the other person is saying and how to ensure that their views are heard by using effective techniques of approaching conflict. When all participants are ready, they are brought together in a group setting with the mediator present, in order to clarify what the most important issues are.
In mediation meetings, disputants are the ones who come up with solutions that they find mutually acceptable. The mediator does not put forward or force any ideas on them. Once agreements have been made as to the route forward, those are put in writing. The written agreements serve as a point of reference for all future meeting with the mediators. They also help to guide the working relationships among the persons involved.
When is Using Mediation Most Effective?
Mediation can be used to fix any conflict on the job, once all of the disputants are willing to find a solution that benefits everyone. It is a cost effective way to resolve a commercial dispute. When administrators consistently choose mediation as a method of dispute resolution in the workplace, the environment gradually becomes more peaceful. This is because over time, employees learn the communication skills necessary to identify the real root of their problem, develop good solutions and prevent conflicts from escalating.
Mediation works especially well in certain types of conflict which are common to all fields, such as sexual harassment cases, termination and situations where an employee’s performance has been deteriorating for some reason.
Complaints of Sexual Harassment
People often have differences of opinion regarding what they perceive as flattering or amusing. In many cases, dedicated mediation experts can help two parties to understand what is seen as offensive behaviour. With guidance, disputants can prevent the work environment from becoming hostile by establishing boundaries and setting ground rules for behaviour. This can only happen when they willingly talk with each other.
Deterioration in Performance
Employees can experience a deterioration in their performance for several reasons. They may have problems at home, health issues or other things that distract them. When manager try to address the issue, they may become defensive. Highly effective guidance from an unbiased intermediary can help both parties understand the requests that are being made.
Terminations are often meant to serve the best interests of the company. However, everyone involved may experience emotions such as anger, grief and depression. In cases where there is a risk of litigation mediation can help to ensure that the rights of all parties are protected.