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Is mediation appropriate for the workplace?

Quite simply the answer to this question is a resounding yes. Mediation can be a very successful method of managing conflict and using this approach within a business environment is no different to it being used for personal reasons. However, there may be circumstances when it is not appropriate. You can find out more by following this link for further guidance: https://www.peoplemanagement.co.uk/experts/legal/mediation-settle-work-disputes

shutterstock_1116847541Running a small business is no easy task. If you’ve set up your own business, you will be very aware of the variety of roles that you will have no doubt had to conduct at one time or another to keep your business operating. From helping clean the offices when the cleaner doesn’t turn up, to having to run to the shop for supplies, running a small business can be very hands on for everyone working within the business.

As a business owner your time is precious and the less you have to deal with pressing issues, the more you can do of what you do best, running your business. However, there will be times when things don’t go to plan and you may find yourself in a conflict situation or having to deal with other peoples’ conflict within the business.

Conflict within a business can occur through various situations. Within a team or company this could be through lack of communication, personality clashes, different values, perceived poor leadership or a difference of opinion. From a business to business or business to customer perspective, one of the main areas of conflict is complaint handling and if complaints aren’t dealt with effectively the resulting damage to the business can be huge.

As a business owner, if you have never experienced this kind of situation before, you may find it hard to manage to ensure all parties involved feel like they have been treated fairly. Most conflicts can be dealt with in-house through talking, listening, compromising, understanding and collaboration. However, when disputes aren’t resolved through the normal approaches and the only way forward seems to be litigation, mediation could offer an alternative solution that is less stressful, cost-effective and has long-lasting effects.

So just what is mediation, and can it help it really help within the workplace?

If you have little knowledge of mediation and how it works, here’s a very brief overview of how mediation is conducted and what you should expect.

  • Mediation is the process of settling disputes or disagreements outside of a court environment
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  • It should be conducted by impartial fully qualified mediators, from companies such as the TCM Group
  • It is a voluntary process that must be agreed to by both parties, you can leave at any time for any reason or even no reason at all
  • Mediation is confidential thereby encouraging the parties to be open and honest
  • Mediation is not used to impose anything on anyone, instead it places the responsibility of resolving the conflict in the hands of the parties involved
  • It provides a safe and confidential place for people to have their say and be heard

If you would like to find out more about mediation and how it could be used to resolve any workplace conflicts you may have visit the acas website: http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=1680