Preparing for your mediation

 

When preparing for a workplace mediation, it’s crucial to gather and organise relevant documents to facilitate a thorough and constructive resolution process. Here are key documents to prepare and hand over to the mediator (from the view of the employee):

 

Conflict resolution policy: obtain a copy of the organisation’s conflict resolution policy to understand the framework within which the mediation process will occur.

Employment contracts: review the employment contracts of the parties involved to identify any relevant terms, conditions, or clauses that may pertain to the dispute.

Employee handbook: refer to the employee handbook for workplace policies, code of conduct, and any relevant guidelines that may be pertinent to the conflict.

Performance reviews: collect performance reviews, evaluations, or any documented assessments that may be related to the issues raised in the conflict.

Email correspondence: gather relevant email exchanges, communication, or written documentation that may provide context or evidence related to the dispute.

Witness statements: if applicable, collect statements from witnesses who may have observed or have information about the conflict. Ensure these statements are voluntarily provided.

Incident reports: if the conflict stems from a specific incident, gather incident reports or documentation related to the event.

Attendance records: collect attendance records, if relevant, to address any disputes related to attendance, punctuality, or leave.

Medical records (if applicable): if health-related issues are involved, ensure you have consent to access medical records, providing relevant information for context.

Previous resolutions or disciplinary actions: review any past resolutions, warnings, or disciplinary actions related to the individuals involved in the dispute.

Organisational policies: familiarise yourself with organisational policies related to confidentiality, non-discrimination, and any other policies that may impact the mediation process.

Legal advice (if necessary): consider seeking legal advice to ensure compliance with relevant employment laws and regulations.

 

Proactive resolution to maintain a healthy workplace culture

 

The potential consequences of workplace conflicts are multifaceted, encompassing various risks that can detrimentally impact both individuals and the organisation as a whole. Firstly, there’s the risk of protracted and time-consuming formal proceedings, such as grievances and employment tribunal claims, which not only incur significant time and financial costs but also strain relationships within the workplace.

 

Additionally, conflicts may result in increased sickness absence costs as individuals affected take time off to personally cope with the aftermath. Management time is diverted from essential business operations to address conflicts, potentially hindering overall business management. The departure of affected individuals due to conflict can incur staff turnover, re-recruitment, and re-training costs. Lowered staff morale, stemming from unresolved conflicts, may lead to diminished commitment, thereby reducing overall productivity.

 

All Levels Employees

On an organisational level, disputes could be mediated between the following participants:

• among two or more staff members
• between staff and managers
• within management or between managers
• between staff and customers, clients, or stakeholders
• between partners, board members, or committee members
• within and between teams and groups

 

Responsibilities and qualities of an effective mediator

 

A workplace mediator is an impartial third party responsible for facilitating the resolution of conflicts and disputes within a professional setting. The mediator’s primary role is to guide communication and negotiation between conflicting parties, aiming to help them reach a mutually agreeable resolution. Workplace mediation serves as a structured process for resolving conflicts. Here’s how it works:

 

Controlled environment: mediation provides a safe and controlled space where employees can openly express their differences. Unlike heated arguments or passive-aggressive interactions, mediation encourages respectful dialogue.

Guidance on effective communication: a skilled mediator facilitates the conversation. They guide participants toward constructive communication techniques. This might involve active listening, empathy, and finding common ground.

Agreements and resolutions: through mediation, coworkers can collaboratively explore solutions. They negotiate and reach agreements that benefit both parties. These resolutions can range from improved communication practices to specific behavioural changes.

Benefits for all: the positive impact of workplace mediation extends beyond individual employees. When disputes are resolved, team dynamics improve, stress decreases, and productivity rises. Ultimately, the entire company benefits.

 

Remember, workplace mediation isn’t about assigning blame; it’s about finding common ground and fostering understanding. By addressing interpersonal differences proactively, organisations create a healthier, more cohesive work environment

Reach out to any of our nationwide DDR centres or on social media to find out more or to book an appointment:

          

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Workplace mediation is the compass that guides organisations through the nuances of employee relations, ensuring that disputes are navigated with empathy and fairness. Our mediators are skilled navigators, steering workplaces toward resolutions that foster a culture of productivity, inclusivity, and lasting professional relationships.

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