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Mediation, a practice still underutilised in workplace conflict resolution

Mediation, a practice still underutilised in workplace conflict resolution

Employers are failing to embrace mediation to help resolve conflict in the workplace despite the role it can play in helping employers avoid the significant costs associated with such disputes, according to a new report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. The report emphasises that the repeal of the Statutory Dispute Resolution regulations next year makes it all the more important that employers invest in mediation.

The report, ‘Workplace mediation: how employers do it’, based on a survey of nearly 800 employers, finds that almost six in ten organisations have never used mediation to help manage conflict at work. But among employers that use mediation, more than 80% report that it helps improve relationships between employees, 71% of respondents believe mediation reduces stress associated with the use of formal disciplinary or grievance procedures and half say that mediation helps avoid the costs of defending employment tribunal claims.

The survey finds that respondents identify informal discussions and mediation as the most effective approaches to resolving conflict at work. Mediation is rated as particularly effective in preventing the breakdown of working relationships, tackling bullying and harassment, as well as in addressing discrimination in the workplace. With the abolition of the statutory dispute resolution procedures next year, mediation will undoubtedly become a much more high profile issue.

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