Workplace mediation guide
If there’s disharmony in the workplace from staff disputes, there’ll be serious longer term knock-on effects which can be quite devastating. Employers who spot problems before they take root can make a big difference to the outcomes and this is better for staff and for the business so employing the professional services of a mediator is a proactive step to maintain the balance of healthy workplace relations at all levels of the organisation. Not only will existing problems be solved but communication will be improved, leading to less conflict in the future. Ultimately, if a parting of ways is needed between an employer and a member (or several members) of staff, a workplace mediator can help smooth the process and ensure that the correct procedures in line with employment law and good practice are followed.
The cost of disputes
There’s a serious impact to a business from workplace disputes. Poor staff relations cause stress and de-motivation, which will lead to decreased productivity, lack of team cohesion, sickness and absenteeism as well as impaired staff performance through poor morale. Teams will cease to function cohesively, key staff may leave and successful new recruitment could become difficult and costly. If the business has a grievance procedure, staff will likely invoke this as protection against unfair treatment and the HR department will have to spend time investigating, unravelling facts, and restoring good faith. HR departments aren’t always perceived as being ‘friendly’, especially if they have to take strong action to resolve disputes (e.g. disciplinary procedures, suspensions and dismissals), which can cause bad feeling and divided loyalties.
Should legal proceedings start, these will always take up management time and incur additional costs. Deciding whether to take action to sort out problems isn’t, however, an easy step to take and, if management fails to act, reliable, hard working staff may feel undermined and demotivated due to lack of team harmony.
Barclay Devere Mediators provide a highly effective and efficient dispute resolution service with a swift and proactive approach. The initial steps will open up communication channels between staff, which is the gateway to resolution and which can minimise or repair damage that might already have been done.
Mediation is a better solution than legal action. The main goal of most lawyers is to obtain the best result for their individual client rather than try to restore the balance within the workplace. In a legal process, there are only winners and losers, bridges are burned and all common ground is lost, even though all parties might have initially wanted mutual resolution.
A professional mediator will, however, focus on resolving a dispute in a way that suits all parties and will always find common ground between parties to achieve a settlement. It’s also a very swift and affordable process.
The mediation team at Barclay Devere consists of professionally qualified and experienced mediators with a proven track record in successfully helping businesses to resolve workplace disputes.
The process of workplace mediation
The process starts by gathering information, setting goals for resolution, identifying strategies to achieve the desired goals, and establishing costs. The mediator will then contact all parties involved to get the ball rolling and provide a documented outcome summary to the employer. Confidentiality is maintained, however, and this will be explained to all parties relevant to the situation.
Mediation fees are payable at the start of the process but, should things become more complex involving an extension of timescales and fees, this will be discussed and agreed with the employer before further work is undertaken.
Usually, mediation can be successfully completed within 14 days of the first contact, with a satisfactory conclusion reached and no need for further legal intervention.
By contacting us, a mediator from our team will be happy to answer any further or specific questions and discuss our service further. Call us on 0203 519 1213 or 03300 100 082