Conflict in the workplace is bad for business.Issues in the workplace disrupt business and cost money. Stepping in early to resolve disputes makes good business sense. Mediation offers a confidential informal and neutral ground for such issues to be resolved. Bringing in a 3rd party provides an ideal space for grievances to be aired and resolved which allows for people to pull their focus back to work.
Workplace Mediation Process
Mediation usually takes place in the workplace if there is a suitable space. This saves the participants time and travel. The format of each mediation varies depending on the circumstances, in most cases there will be an initial meeting with all participants followed by private sessions, which allow the participants to express their respective needs in more detail. There may also be sessions with other staff members where relevant. Unlike commercial or family mediation there is not usually a settlement document drawn up at the end, although one can be drawn up where applicable.
Mediation as a Voluntary Process
One of the key components of mediation is its voluntary nature, where there is a workplace dispute, managers and human resource staff may want to force the parties to go to mediation, a first meeting could be compulsory but following an initial meeting if the participants do not want to proceed they can not be forced to do so
Confidentiality in workplace mediation
Confidentiality is key to any mediation. In workplace mediations the waters are muddied by the intiator of the mediation possibly a human resource manager requesting a report on the mediation. In nearly all cases this is not recommended, as diluting confidentiality can severely limit the success of the mediation. If a report is required, the mediator would inform the participants prior to any mediation exactly what would be divulged in a final report.
Issues covered by workplace mediation
Examples of situations where work place mediation can be helpful are where there are issues
Between different departments
Between managers and their staff