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How to Introduce Mediation into Your Workplace

How to Introduce Mediation into Your Workplace


Looking for an effective way to mend relationships when there is a disagreement at work? Consider mediation! According to Acas, mediation can help reduce grievances and conflict, and improve workplace culture.

Mediation is an effective way to mend relationships when there is a disagreement at work and it need not be difficult to set up, even in small organisations.

If you’re an employer looking to introduce mediation in your workplace, you should think about what you want to achieve from using mediation. For example, it could be to:

•  reduce grievances and conflict;

•  improve workplace culture.

There are two ways you can introduce mediation in your workplace; you can use an external mediator who comes into your workplace when needed or set up your own internal mediation scheme, training employees to act as mediators.

The option you choose should be suitable for your needs; a larger organisation might invest in its own mediation scheme whilst a smaller organisation might feel using an external mediator, when necessary, is more cost-effective as it can be expensive to set up an internal scheme.

Using an external mediator

If you decide to use an external mediator it’s a good idea for a person or team to be responsible for overseeing the mediation arrangements; the cost of mediation will also need to be included in the organisation’s budget.

For smaller organisations, using an external mediator might be a good option as it can be difficult to make sure that employees in a smaller organisation are:

•  impartial (the parties involved should not know the mediator);

•  available for mediation (employees will need time off for mediations).

Using an external mediator means that you can decide when this is necessary, without taking up too much of your employees’ time.

For larger organisations, an external mediator can still be used even if they have invested in their own internal mediation scheme – for example, it might be appropriate to use an external mediator when:

•  the internal mediator has a conflict of interest;

•  an internal mediator is not available quickly enough;

•  those involved in potential mediation are senior managers;

•  the issue involves a very sensitive situation.

If you use an external mediator who comes to your workplace you need to be sure that the mediator will not take sides and will seek to find a solution that’s workable for everyone.

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