“ In a workplace dispute, mediation offers the individuals involved the chance of finding a resolution to their problem in an informal manner. They are in control of the resolution. The parties will agree the solution between them, how they should proceed with their working relationship since mediation focuses on the future. Moreover, the mediation process is a secure environment for all concerned where they can have their say and be heard. From experience I recommend mediation in workplace disputes as I have witnessed positive outcomes during my time as a mediator.” Genevieve Murray, MII Workplace Mediation Sector Rep
Mediation has become an indispensable tool in dealing with workplace disputes. Without conciliatory intervention workplace disputes can result in work environments poisoned with conflict, lowered productivity and the loss of effective employees. Mediation can assist resolve disputes between employees or issues arising between employees and their employer.
Why Mediation is particularly suited to workplace disputes?
- Mediation is confidential – disputants get to air and resolve their differences without ‘the entire company knowing’.
- An external Mediator is unconnected to the situation and therefore their neutrality and impartiality is guaranteed.
- Mediation gives disputants a safe, neutral setting to air their grievances.
- Mediation can deal with a workplace dispute without involving other employees or management.
- Workplace disputes can often escalate to involve formal procedures, Mediation can intervene before things go ‘too far’.
- Mediation assist the parties to communicate more effectively and sets the standard for future conduct.
Two employees working from the same office and across the same projects fell out over the allegation that one had withheld details on a shared project from the other. This created a bad atmosphere. A complaint was made to the manager who referred the matter to an external Mediator in the hope that the matter could be resolved without having to engage the union or internal grievance/disciplinary procedures. Both employees consented to the Mediation and met individually with the Mediator in pre-Mediation meetings before meeting the Mediator together in a Mediation session. The pre-Mediation meetings had given both an opportunity to vent their anger and at the Mediation they were able to listen to each other’s side of the story. The matter was resolved and they both agreed to make a conscious effort to restore a healthy working relationship.
“I felt the mediation was a constructive process. I had to work in the same office everyday with the individual whom upset me. It was successful, there’s no doubt about it, and we found it difficult to work together before…things between us have improved greatly. I would definitely recommend mediation, yes. I think even if it’s just an opportunity to let it all out and be honest without fear of retaliations.” (Client)
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