Where Mediation Helps
Mediation can help resolve disputes and conflicts in the community, the workplace and in families. In fact, wherever differences between people are becoming damaging
Over 1250 people in dispute have benefitted from resolutions achieved with our mediators
Conflict Resolution Team mediators work in accordance with the European Code of Conduct for Mediators
In the Community
Our success rates for community and neighbourhood mediation where all parties mediate, are 87.5% overall:
97% where the parties meet in a joint mediation session or face-to-face.
82% where the parties prefer indirect or “shuttle mediation”.
We have over ten years’ experience of resolving disputes and conflicts in neighbourhoods and communities. These mediations are typically conducted for housing associations, local authorities and community safety partnerships; although other organisations with an interest in improving neighbour or community relations have commissioned our work, as have individual tenants and residents. The issues that appear to be in dispute range from parking, high hedges and environmental health issues to noise nuisance, clashes of lifestyle or working patterns and anti-social behaviour. Mediation works with people in dispute to explore and resolve the underlying causes of the conflict.
In community or neighbour mediation it is usual for the mediator to visit the parties at home initially, to conduct a mediation assessment. This is a private visit by a mediator only, confidential within the law. This always depends on the wishes of the parties. If people would rather meet the mediator in another suitable venue, perhaps a community centre or housing office, this can be arranged,
One day mediation:
Our experience in mediating workplace disputes leads us to offer one day mediation in neighbourhood and community conflicts. In this process the parties commit themselves to being available to try to resolve a dispute or conflict in the course of one day. Depending on the wishes of the parties and the availability of suitable premises, the parties may meet the mediator and each other on the same day in the same venue. Typically the parties will meet the mediator, in separate and confidential assessment sessions, in the morning, and meet with each other in a joint mediation session in the afternoon. Yet another option is for the mediator to visit all parties, individually, in their own homes in the morning and for all to meet up in an agreed venue in the afternoon for the joint mediation session. The people in dispute still have the choice whether to continue the mediation after their first session with the mediator but where they are able to make an initial commitment to one day mediation it is a convenient and efficient model. The parties know that on a certain date they will at least be able to try to improve the situation and that the waiting will be over.
In the Workplace
Workplace disputes cost UK business an average of over £24bn a year and the cost to UK employers for tribunal claims is estimated to be £7000 per case on average. An average of 13 days of management time is lost per disciplinary and 9 days for every grievance.” (David Wallis:The Value of Mediation)
Avoiding conflict adds to the increasing levels of stress and depression at work.
Staff recruitment, training and reorganisation remain a drain on scarce resources. Employers are now estimating that they lose more than £9,500 per vacancy that isn’t filled within three months (HR Review).
In over ten years of mediating workplace conflicts, our success rates remain at 100%.
Acknowledging difference and managing conflict are essential to maintaining and developing staff engagement.
In 2018, more than ever, organisations will benefit from the opportunities afforded by mediation.
Mediation can be completed in one day, as soon as the parties are ready and available. Mediation can be offered at any stage, as an alternative to formal procedures, to address feelings and practicalities after grievance or disciplinary processes, or to support return-to-work processes. Mediation offers a healing, restorative process in instances of reinstatement after unfair dismissal.
For staff, managers, HR and personnel:
Mediation has a track record of resolving staff conflict and interpersonal disputes relating to behaviour, communication or conduct at work. Whether communication has broken down, there is a clash of personalities or working relationships have deteriorated, mediation helps colleagues and teams repair. It is the ideal tool to fix "office drama".
Mediative processes offer a creative opportunities to increase and consolidate staff engagement and wellbeing, constructive alternatives to issues with "toxic employees" or "Machiavellian workers" and dynamic, non-judgmental approaches to fixing dysfunctional teams and "toxic workplaces".
We recognise the rights of individuals and organisations to take advantages of any resources and processes that address their needs. Where appropriate, and with consent, mediation can work in partnership with other procedures, e.g. disciplinary and grievance, or organisations, e.g. trades unions or other advocates. This may afford extra levels of protection where, for instance, there are allegations of bullying or harassment.
Mediation can be an alternative to disciplinary and grievance procedures or run parallel. It can be offered after formal procedures for damage limitation or healing and rebuilding. Mediation can help organisations avoid the risk and higher cost of adversarial or legal proceedings.
Mediators can also resolve inter-departmental and inter-generational conflict, staff restructuring issues and the reorganisation of groups and working practices. Conflict resolution can be a constructive and lasting element of an overall strategy to help manage change.
Individual employees' ill health or absence may be a direct or indirect result of open or concealed conflict at work.
Mediation creates a dialogue that gets to the heart of the issue.
Input from a skilled mediator, a "mediative approach" can address absence and absence management, facilitating return to work interviews and the negotiation of return to work plans, especially where relations between employer and employee have become strained or entrenched.
For complaints managers:
Organisations wishing to settle a customer or client complaint without going to court engage mediation to address the presenting issue and to explore the underlying causes. This can resolve the immediate complaint and prevent reoccurrences. Whether short-term customer relations or longer-term, continuing relationships with clients or service users, mediation explores the roots and causes of the problem and helps rebuild relationships. We can work in partnership with appropriate advocate and support agencies where complaints involve vulnerable people or those with additional needs. We also engage constructively with family members and others with an appropriate interest in the resolution of a complaint or dispute, within the bounds of confidentiality. Our complaints conciliation is suitable for private, public and not-for-profit organisations.
Complaints conciliation offers fast, effective solutions. Complaints can be handled satisfactorily within time limits. Criticism for slow complaints-handling can be averted
Mediation can address and resolve disputes within families around relationships and contact with older relatives in care settings. This area of mediation is overlapping with complaints management as family members seek to address concerns within the care settings themselves.
For residential and care home managers our training addresses developing constructive dialogues with families and managing difficult conversations.
For Social Services managers we can offer mediation, training and coaching where there is conflict between foster carers and parents or inolving Local Authorities and other agencies.
We also offer mediation of other specific issues between immediate family members.
For more detailed information, please look at The Mediation Process in either Agreement to Mediate available as a download.