Direct Mediation Services

Workplace mediation

How to mediate a workplace conflict

Do you have a problem at work? Do you need help in resolving a conflict workplace? Do you want help in re-establishing workplace relations? Our team may be the solution you are looking for.

Many people who have worked in any sort of office environment will know that workplace disagreements, disputes or “difficult atmospheres” happen from time to time. Mediation is becoming an increasingly popular way of resolving these sorts of disputes – not least because it is cost-effective from the employer’s point of view. Mediation in the workplace is often highly effective in helping those involved in the disagreements to understand the issues from more than their own point of view, and work more effectively with their counterparts in the future.

Worplace mediation is a voluntary process. All parties/participants to the disagreement need to agree to try to resolve their differences through mediation.

Benefits of mediation in the workplace

  • Facilitates open communication between the people involved in workplace conflicts.
  • Promotes understanding and empathy, fostering better relationships among coworkers.
  • Helps identify underlying issues and root causes of conflict, leading to more effective conflict resolutions at work.
  • Empowers employees to voice their concerns and participate in finding solutions.
  • Reduces the negative impact of conflicts on productivity and morale within the workplace.
  • Saves time and resources compared to prolonged disputes or legal proceedings.
  • Preserves confidentiality and privacy, maintaining trust among employees and management.
  • Improves overall workplace culture by demonstrating a commitment to resolving conflicts peacefully.

How workplace mediation works

Make a referral

Talk to one of our qualified workplace mediators about your case and how to move forward.

Pre-mediation meeting

The workplace mediator will speak to each participant separately to discuss the case and how mediation works. Meetings are usually one hour.

Mediation at work

A meeting face-to-face or in shuttle where issues and concerns can be explored in a safe and confidential environment.

The agreement

A plan going forward agreed by the participants. This can be written down and turned into a formal agreement, if required.

How does mediation work in the workplace?

If an employer is approached by one of their employees wanting to use workplace mediation to resolve a workplace-related issue, the employer should contact Direct Mediation Services. We can help them to resolve the dispute in question.

Initial meeting with the workplace mediator

The first step for the mediator is speaking to all sides separately and confidentially for two purposes:

  1. Firstly, the mediator will explain an outline of how the mediation process is likely to work, the mediator’s impartiality, what is expected from the participants in terms of confidentiality.
  2. Secondly, the mediator will want to hear how each person sees the situation as having developed up to this point, where they agree or don’t agree with the other side’s point of view, and what they would like to see as an outcome of the mediation.

The mediator will also ask each participant to confirm in an agreement to mediate that they are willing to proceed with mediation.

Joint workplace mediation session

If everyone agrees to proceed, a mutually convenient date and venue can be set for the joint mediation session. The time needed for workplace mediation depends largely on the complexity of the issues to be resolved.

Ground rules need to be agreed at the beginning of the mediation. An agreement to mediate, which the mediator will have explained to all participants at their initial individual meeting, will explain the rules of conduct that are expected from everyone and has to be agreed and committed to by all the people involved in mediation.

Conducting the mediation

The mediator’s role is to help participants explain how they are feeling about the situation, how they see matters, and to understand things from different point of view. The aim of mediation is to find the common ground from which to build and accept differing points of views and be able to live with these.

Final decision reached

With no hard and fast rules about what will be the outcome in mediation, a dispute may end in a re-instatement, settlement or any number of action points. If an employee leaves employment following mediation, subject to express consent, the session notes can form the basis of a settlement agreement.

What happens when mediation fails in the workplace?

A successful mediation may not always end in a settlement agreement or an action plan.

Workplace mediation may not resolve a particularly thorny dispute, or alleviate a particular individual’s concerns but it may achieve the following:

  • Preserve workforce morale by giving employees a meaningful voice and opening dialogue.
  • Save business costs by introducing mediation in substitution for protracted human resources support or expensive legal costs.

Free consultation

This free consultation appointment will be for you to discuss your WORKPLACE mediation case, learn about the mediation process, and to ask any questions that you might have on a telephone call.

Worplace mediation questions

Workplace mediation supports in resolving conflicts at work and disputes within organisational settings. Facilitated by a neutral mediator, this process helps with constructive communication and negotiation between participants involved in workplace disagreements, be it between employees or between employees and management.

Through open dialogue and exploration of underlying issues, mediation helps to identify common ground and develop mutually acceptable solutions. The confidential nature of mediation fosters an environment where individuals feel safe to express their concerns and explore potential resolutions without fear of reprisal.

By addressing conflicts promptly and effectively, workplace mediation alleviates tensions and improves morale, and also promotes a positive organisational culture built on respect, cooperation, and mutual understanding. It empowers individuals to take ownership of resolving their disputes while preserving relationships and enhancing productivity within the workplace.

Workplace mediation is highly effective in resolving conflicts at work and improving overall workplace dynamics. By providing a structured and confidential platform for communication and problem-solving, mediation helps particpants involved in conflicts to address their issues directly and collaboratively.

Numerous studies have shown that workplace mediation leads to a significant reduction in grievances, absenteeism, and turnover rates. It fosters a more positive work environment, increases employee morale, and enhances productivity. Moreover, mediation empowers employees by giving them a voice in the resolution process, which can lead to greater job satisfaction and a stronger sense of loyalty to the organisation.

Ultimately, workplace mediation works because it focuses on addressing underlying issues and finding mutually beneficial solutions, rather than perpetuating conflict. It promotes understanding, cooperation, and respect among colleagues, paving the way for a more harmonious and successful workplace.

If an agreement isn’t reached during a workplace mediation case, the process doesn’t necessarily end there. Participants may choose to continue discussions in subsequent mediation sessions, allowing for further exploration of potential solutions under the guidance of the mediator.

Alternatively, if mediation proves unsuccessful, individuals involved in the dispute may choose to pursue other avenues such as formal grievance procedures, arbitration, or litigation. However, even in the absence of a resolution, the mediation process can still yield valuable insights and promote understanding between participants. It may lead to a clearer identification of underlying issues, laying the groundwork for future negotiations or alternative dispute resolution methods. Furthermore, organisations can use the outcomes of unsuccessful mediations to inform policy changes, training initiatives, or other interventions aimed at preventing similar conflicts in the future.

Ultimately, while the goal of workplace mediation is to facilitate agreement, its impact extends beyond settlement outcomes, fostering a culture of communication, respect, and conflict resolution within the organisation.

Online workplace mediation is a process where conflicts are resolved remotely using video conferencing and digital tools. It offers convenience, as participants can engage from anywhere with internet access, saving time and resources. This method is particularly beneficial for remote teams and reduces costs associated with travel and physical meeting space. While there may be differences in dynamics compared to in-person sessions, with proper facilitation, online mediation can be just as effective in resolving conflicts and promoting positive outcomes.

Yes, workplace mediation is confidential. Confidentiality is a fundamental principle of mediation and is crucial for creating a safe environment where participants can openly discuss their concerns and explore potential solutions without fear of repercussions.

During the mediation process, all discussions, negotiations, and information shared by the participants are kept confidential. This means that the details of what is discussed in mediation cannot be disclosed outside of the mediation sessions without the explicit consent of all involved, including the mediator.

Confidentiality helps to build trust among everyone in the mediation room and encourages open communication, which is essential for reaching mutually acceptable agreements. It also protects sensitive information and allows people to speak freely without worrying about the information being used against them in the future.

However, it’s important to note that there are limitations to confidentiality in mediation. For example, if there are concerns about illegal activity or threats to safety, the mediator may be obligated to report such information to the appropriate authorities. 

Overall, confidentiality is a key aspect of workplace mediation that helps to ensure a fair and effective resolution process for all involved.

No, workplace mediation is voluntary. Participation is a decision made by the people involved, ensuring that all are willing to engage in constructive dialogue to find solutions to their conflicts. This voluntary participation fosters investment in the process and increases adherence to any agreements reached. While participants may be encouraged to participate, ultimately, it’s up to them to decide whether to engage in mediation.