The Power of Mediation

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In our business and work environment today we are very busy working to strict deadlines, needing higher levels of productivity and working longer hours. All of this builds up stress as management start to issue commands to their troops to up their game. Issuing commands without explaining why or how can lead to confusion between managers and their staff which can lead to confrontation. The result of confrontation often ends with a grievance where days are spent going through the grievance process and often the employee eventually leaves the business, taking with them their vital skills base. The use of mediation, however, can help to reduce lost time, costs and loss of productivity because here concerns are dealt with before they become full blown situations. Mediation is about talking things through, by being given the safe space to air your concerns without the fear of retribution. An individual has to be invited to mediation and asked if they are open to the idea. The first meeting would be a one to one session where the aggrieved individual has their opportunity to discuss what was troubling them. This session would be with someone who is not involved in the matter. Once it is clear what exactly is troubling the individual then the ‘perpetrator’ is also invited into the meeting and the mediator gets both parties to see how their actions are affecting each other. A mediation meeting is outside of the formal grievance process and the aim is obviously to avoid a grievance and have both parties working together harmoniously. By resolving matters through mediation it can help to turn around weak relationships quickly without further deterioration of that working relationship. The aggrieved employee feels they are valued, someone has taken the time to hear their concerns and worked with them to resolve them and the business in turn has retained the skills and experience they recruited in the first place. It’s never too late for mediation, even if a case ends up at an Employment Tribunal, both parties are given the opportunity to try mediation through ACAS and even at this late stage avoid a stressful employment tribunal. That’s how effective it can be!

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