Conflict in the workplace is common. Most of the time, things can be sorted out with a quiet informal chat. When they can’t, however, they can soon take a turn for the worse. Communication breaks down, other people get drawn in, and what begins as a difference of opinion can quickly become a much larger issue for the workplace.
Workplace mediation is a quick, cost-effective and private method of resolving disputes. It focuses on all parties getting what they want from their working relationships, whilst reducing the stress and costs of formal action.
In addition, on top of resolving individual conflicts, mediation also has many additional long-term benefits for improving teamwork and bringing a workforce together.
Increased productivity – when a conflict is ongoing in the workplace, the disputants, as well as others around them, may become preoccupied and work may take a backseat. As a result, it may be of a sub-standard quality, late or even completely forgotten about. By resolving the conflict early on through mediation, employees can quickly go back to focusing on the tasks at hand. This can lead to a rise in the volume of output and, potentially, an increase in profits.
More creative and innovative – when the environment around them is stable and supportive, employees become more confident and secure in themselves and their abilities. Because of this, they have more confidence in suggesting new ideas or developing them with colleagues. On the other hand, if the workplace is entrenched in a dispute, they may be more fearful of ridicule or refuse to communicate with others at all.
Greater loyalty and commitment – To put it simply, no-one wants to work in a place where people are falling out all of the time. Employees may even quit or take sick days when they’re not actually ill, just to avoid coming into that environment. However, when issues are resolved quickly, it results in a happier, more enjoyable workplace where teamwork can thrive. It may also bolster the company’s reputation as a good organisation to work for.
Self-maintenance – Once a workforce goes through team mediation, they begin to recognise and acknowledge how a dispute should be dealt with. They will be able to see the early signs of conflict and be aware of when to try and nip it in the bud, as well as being able to take the necessary steps to resolve it. If there were agreements set up during the mediation session, these may also assist in how to go about tackling future conflicts. This is incredibly efficient for the company as it saves time and money on disciplinary procedures and bringing in external help.
These reasons are playing a significant role in the increasing number of organisations turning to mediation to help with their workplace conflicts.
Here at UK Mediation, not only do we offer workplace mediation services for existing conflicts, we also offer a range of in-house training courses that can arm your team with the necessary dispute resolution skills. This way, issues can be dealt with internally and at the very first signs of a conflict arising.
Both approaches are becoming increasingly popular and, when you consider the long-term benefits of improved teamwork, it’s easy to see why.
Train your team with one of our in-house conflict resolution training courses
Find out more about our workplace mediation services, and what they can do for your workforce
Train to become an accredited mediator with our Interpersonal Mediation Practitioner’s Certificate course
Register for our upcoming free webinars, including ‘Mediating Salary Disputes‘