If you have a dispute in your workplace then you need to resolve this as fast and amicably as possible. Unresolved disputes just linger on, and can have a negative impact on productivity and employee morale.
What is Corporate Mediation?
Corporate mediation is a voluntary process where a business mediator will facilitate the successful outcome of the conflict. It is an informal process where communication between the two parties is actively encouraged.
The aim of business mediation is to develop an agreement that is mutually acceptable. In this situation both parties will be happy with the outcome, and once implemented the new agreed practice lifts the morale of the workforce. Any conflict can be resolved using mediation irrespective of the level in the organization or whether there is a union or non union setting.
What are the Benefits of Corporate Mediation?
Both employers and employees benefit from corporate mediation. The main reason for this is the speed of the conflict resolution and the mutually agreeable solution that results. It is best to appoint a mediator to solve corporate disputes as quickly as possible after the dispute arises. This will provide corporate mediation with the best opportunity for an optimum solution.
Faster action will ensure that there has been minimal festering of differences between the parties, and they will be more open to resolution suggestions. Conflicts that are resolved by a corporate mediator tend to be more workable and produce more long lasting results.
If one side feels that they have had a solution imposed on them then they will be less inclined to make it work. Both parties have bought into a mediated result. The process also normally provides improved communication between the parties and they will respect each other more. This will work even if one of the parties feels particularly aggrieved by the conflict.
Communication is often at the heart of the vast majority of corporate disputes. There has been a failure to communicate properly and fully understand the point of view of both sides. There is often more emphasis on who is right and who is wrong, rather than accepting that two parties are involved and they both have opinions.
So the mediator’s first task is to facilitate communication between the two affected parties. They will encourage both parties to speak out about why they have taken their different stances. Good mediators will then steer the conversation to one of finding a practical solution that will work to the satisfaction of all.
Throughout the mediation process the mediator will facilitate the cooperation of both sides and encourage them to exchange ideas and talk to each other more. As both parties start to form a better understanding of each other’s points of view this will help them to work together a lot better in the long term.
Another benefit of corporate mediation is that it is a very different process to litigation. In a litigation case a mediator will separate the parties, and then shuffle backwards and forwards between them. There is no working together and the result is less likely to be acceptable to both parties.
How the Corporate Mediation process works
It is usual that an organization would appoint a representative to work with a mediator for clarification of expectations for reporting back and confidentiality. The mediator can also use their organizational contact to gain historical information about the dispute.
Then the mediator will meet with the individuals involved in the dispute on a one on one basis. They will want to establish each individual point of view here. They will also coach each individual on the best approach to conflict resolution, so that they speak up as well as listen in the group sessions.
The mediator will bring both parties together after this for a group mediation session. The mediator structures the meeting so that constructive discussions are encouraged, and the main issues clarified. The mediator will then assist both parties in finding a resolution that is agreeable to all.
The mediator creates a document, which details the final agreements reached by both parties. A follow up meeting usually takes place within 1 – 3 months after the agreed practices are in place, to see if the corporate mediation process has been successful.
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