Conflict, if not resolved efficiently and effectively can damage morale, client relationships, business performance and reputations.
All of this can be avoided with early intervention – as can expensive disputes and tribunal claims.
Mediation enables those involved to identify the causes and reach a satisfactory resolution by means of a clearly stated set of actions.
By using a neutral third party in a non-threatening environment, the two sides are brought together to air and reconcile their differences before the ‘emotional contract’ is broken and employment ends, which:
- reduces the opportunity for the dispute to develop;
- prevents either or both sides becoming entrenched; and
- reduces the likelihood of the relationship breaking down irretrievably.
An employee had accused their line manager of bullying and threatened a constructive unfair dismissal claim that could have cost the company over £25,000.
Through mediation, we were able to encourage each party to openly state their grievances. Having clearly set out the cause of their frustration, and be presented with the other side’s case, both sides were better able to understand the merit of the others concerns. The employee was also able to set more realistic expectations about the outcome of the case.
The result? The case was settled for £3,000, saving the considerable time, stress and the cost of a tribunal.
Rebuilding relationships is essential and conciliation can be offered after a formal dispute has been resolved.
If the relationship has broken, and parties are facing the court or tribunal, mediation provides an alternative informal process before the formality of a tribunal imposed sanction.
Becky Hill, principal of HR Now, is accredited by the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR), the international benchmark for mediation excellence.