Workplace mediation

The cost of conflict in the workplace

A degree of conflict in an organisation can be a helpful driver of creativity, innovation and productivity. But when tensions lead to disagreements which are not properly managed, conflict becomes destructive and can cycle out of control.

Image of two managers talking face to faceThe following are commonly cited as causes of conflict in the workplace:

  • personality differences or different styles of working
  • organisational change and how it is managed
  • lack of co-operation or active obstruction
  • bullying or harrassment allegations
  • discrimination allegations
  • dysfunctional team relationships.

It has been estimated that as much as 20% of management time is spent dealing with conflict in the workplace. Factor in the loss of productivity, time off sick with stress or due to suspension, the damage to morale and customer service, and the business costs mount up. If the dispute ends in an Employment Tribunal or litigation, the costs multiply even further.

Moreover, a 2015 CIPD report on conflict in the workplace concluded: “The greatest impact of conflict is on employee well-being. From an ethical perspective of creating a healthy, positive working environment, this is enough to warrant concerted efforts to find faster, more effective routes to conflict resolution.”

Calm Mediation offers a solution

Image of two women in conversation

Calm Mediation provides experienced accredited mediators to help organisations address workplace conflict quickly and constructively.

Our mediators can help to resolve conflicts between individuals in a line management relationship, between other colleagues (internal or external), or between teams. As well as providing an alternative to grievance or disciplinary procedures, mediation can deal effectively with all kinds of conflict in almost any situation where those concerned are willing to participate and an informal solution is possible.

As impartial third parties, our mediators enable participants to have a structured conversation, to build understanding and find mutually acceptable solutions, thus offering the chance of lasting resolution. We use the facilitative model of mediation.

We offer a cost effective, flexible service. It can meet the needs of small and medium sized employers who do not have internal mediators, or of larger organisations which need to supplement in-house resources with independent external mediators.

How does mediation work?

Calm Mediation’s office team receives case referrals, assigns suitable mediators and handles the preparations in liaison with the referrer. Our service is flexible, but a typical workplace mediation would take place on a single day as follows:

Stage 1: Introductory meetings

Our mediators, working in pairs, meet each client involved in the dispute separately and in confidence. They listen to what has been happening, find out how they would like things to be in future, and explain the mediation process.

Stage 2: Preparation meeting

Meeting the clients separately again, the mediators prepare them for the mediation meeting.  This valuable support helps the clients to express themselves in a way that will be heard by the other person, leading to the best possible outcome from the process.

Stage 3: Mediation meeting

The clients come together with the mediators. Each client has an opportunity to speak and listen and, with the mediators help, they explore the dispute, identify their respective needs and find mutually acceptable solutions. Points of agreement and action are recorded and signed.

The role of the mediators

The mediators help clients to talk and listen to each other constructively, in a safe environment. They don’t take sides, judge the rights and wrongs of disputes, or provide opinions or advice. They are skilled in helping clients to look to the future and work out their own lasting solutions.

The agreement

image of a group of colleagues in friendly discussionThe agreement clearly records what the clients have said they will do to improve the situation and how they will handle any future problems.

The agreement is not legally binding; its success relies on the goodwill of the clients. It is confidential and will only be shared with others with the clients’ consent.

Follow-up

We contact each client 12 weeks later to offer further support as necessary.

What does it cost?

Calm Mediation is a registered charity and not-for-profit organisation. Our pricing policy reflects our commitment to encouraging the use of mediation and restorative approaches. Our competitive prices start from as little as £895 for a workplace mediation.

Please contact us to discuss how we can meet your mediation needs.