Mar 18 2013

Mediation in workplace conflict

Last month Acas and the CIPD published a guide on mediation in the workplace entitled Mediation: an approach to resolving workplace issues.

According to Acas, meditation can have a transformative effect in the workplace and lead to new, less formal approaches to managing conflict. And many mediators tend to come from within the organisation which means that their skills can be put to use in a variety of settings.

Research on conflict management carried out by the CIPD  in 2011 also put some numbers around mediation in conflict:

  • 80% of respondents said the main benefit in using mediation is improving relationships between individuals.
  • 64% said mediation reduced or eliminated the stress involved in more formal processes.
  • 52% said mediation reduced the costs involved in defending employment tribunal claims.

A 2008 CIPD survey on mediation also identified other benefits of mediation:

  • It helps retain valuable employees.
  • It reduces the number of formal grievances raised.
  • It helps develop an organisational culture that focuses on managing and developing people.
  • It helps reduce sickness absence.

Mediation is just one form of conflict resolution – organisations will have more formal grievance procedures in place too. However, mediation can provide an alternative approach to conflict that is more flexible.

Mediation is less formal, tends to be voluntary and is morally binding rather than legally binding. Acas research has shown mediation can transform the culture around conflict management within organisations. The report provides useful tips and case studies on how mediation works and is a must-read for organisations looking for alternatives totraditional grievance procedures.

  • The Acas guide is free to download here.

Picture credit: Jscreationsz

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