I often hear from business owners at their wit’s end because two (or more) employees are locked in conflict over something or other. Often, the real reason for the conflict is something minor, but things escalate at such a pace that a resolution doesn’t feel likely. In cases like this - and many others - I recommend mediation as an effective way of finding a solution. But what is mediation, and can it really help you to smooth things over so that everyone is happy again? Mediation is the process of resolving conflict between two or more individuals through a neutral third party. This person facilitates communication and negotiation between each party with the aim of reaching a solution that keeps everyone happy. In the UK, mediation is often used in employment disputes to avoid litigation and reach a mutually acceptable solution. Mediation can be effective at resolving conflicts for several reasons.
First, it allows the parties to discuss their concerns and interests in a non-confrontational environment. This can help to build understanding and trust between them without feeling like sides are being taken and any blame is being placed. Second, the mediator is trained to facilitate communication and encourage productive dialogue. This can help the parties to identify common ground and find mutually acceptable solutions.
Third, the parties involved are in control of the outcome of the mediation and can work together to find a solution that meets their needs and interests, rather than relying on a judge or arbitrator to decide for them. This leaves them feeling that they have better control and autonomy over the situation. Additionally, mediation is often quicker, less expensive, and less stressful than going to court or engaging in other formal dispute resolution processes. It can also help to preserve relationships between the parties, which can be particularly important in employment disputes where ongoing relationships are often necessary. Under UK employment law, mediation is voluntary and cannot be forced on either party. However, it is often encouraged by employers, trade unions, and the courts as a way to resolve disputes quickly and efficiently. It’s something my team and I have a lot of experience with. We’d love to help you resolve conflict amongst your team if it becomes necessary - get in touch.
Telephone: 0208 398 6599
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