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Mediation – resolving conflict at work

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Mediation is a common approach used to resolve workplace disputes through communication and negotiation techniques. This method encourages all parties too actively participate in the process.

Workplace conflict can occur in any employment relationship and is often best resolved by the line manager or employees themselves. Workplace conflict can take many forms, including employee grievances, disputes between a manager and an employee or merely a personality clash between colleagues.

As well as being stressful and unpleasant for anyone involved, if left unaddressed workplace conflict can also be very costly to a business. It can take people’s focus away from their day-to-day work, can result in employees leaving, or can even result in an employment tribunal claim being made.

As mediation is not a legal process, the mediator’s role is not to make a judgement on who is right and who is in the wrong but remain impartial. In fact, the mediator shouldn’t be making any decisions during mediation. Their role in mediation is helping two or more individuals reach a solution to a workplace dispute that’s acceptable to everyone.

The overriding aim of workplace mediation is to restore and maintain good and productive working relationships wherever possible.

Dealing with disputes in the workplace is always difficult, but early intervention and use of a professional mediator can offer a practical and cost effective way to minimise the disruption to your business.

Contact PSM for further guidance and support.

Allison, Murray, HR Manager, PSM HR Outsourcing

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