I’m really pleased to report that workplace mediation seems to gathering momentum. Last week, I gave a seminar to the CIPD on unlocking the benefits of mediation for personal and business success – and I was delighted with the enthusiastic feedback I received. And this week, I’m running a mediation and negotiation module for an “Emerging Leaders” programme.

There is clearly growing interest in mediation and those of us working in this field want to make it the norm rather than the exception in resolving workplace conflict. It’s becoming clear now that mediation skills will be one of the most important and positive skills any business can focus on for professional development in 2017. In the face of so much change, leaders and managers today need to be more aware than ever of what to do when workplace relations break down.

That why it’s important to understand how mediation can assist them when managing challenging relationships at work. Mediation enables organisations to develop a high-performance culture, whereby those conflicts arising are managed positively.

Because mediation is voluntary, confidential and focused on solutions, it is unlimited in the range of outcomes. It is also quicker than formal grievance and legal procedures, for which positions can easily become entrenched.

Moreover, because those solutions are agreed rather than imposed, the chances of their durability are much greater. And crucially for business, mediation can be extremely cost effective compared to the irrecoverable time and financial costs of full-blown court or tribunal proceedings.

These are exciting times for mediation. And when it is fully integrated into the workplace, as the norm rather than as the exception, we will look back and wonder why it wasn’t done before.

 

Caroline Sheridan, Chair, Workplace and Employment CMC group and Founder of Sheridan Resolutions