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Avoiding the fireworks: Workplace mediation

With Bonfire Night approaching, it’s a timely reminder that there’s rarely a shortage of fireworks in the workplace.

It’s thought that over two hours a week are wasted by conflict at work, costing the economy millions in lost productivity.

According to research from the publishers of the Myers-Briggs personality test, over 60 percent of employees have never received conflict management and dispute resolution training. But almost all of those who did reported being able to navigate conflict more positively.

Working with colleagues, managers and contractors often sees different types of personalities clashing. Workplace mediation can help.

How can workplace mediation benefit my business?

Mediation can be an alternative to the costly and time-consuming process of grievance procedures. It offers a space to air out misconceptions and miscommunications which can often be the root cause of workplace conflict. Workplace mediation is a positive opportunity for people to resolve practical problems and personal issues.

Does my business really need workplace mediation?

Hopefully not! Conflict can be healthy and constructive. It can help teams develop creative ideas and find new ways of doing things.

Mediation may be needed when healthy competition and a challenging exchange of ideas turns into bullying, harassment and undermining of colleagues. This can have a negative effect in a number of ways.  For smaller businesses in particular, the impact can be significant.

What can my business do to avoid conflict?

Conflict is a natural and normal part of the workplace. But identifying at which point to intervene and manage conflict can be difficult. The best way to avoid conflict spiralling out of control is to set an open and honest culture that encourages competition, but also a healthy respect for each other.

If you find your business is negatively affected by workplace conflict, get in touch with your local HR Dept to find out how mediation and grievance management could work for you.