WORKPLACE MEDIATION is a process where an skilled, commercially-minded mediator helps two or more parties within an organisation resolve a dispute.
We list some examples of typical workplace disputes that are suitable for mediation below, but almost any dispute can be resolved with open-minded participants and a mediator that understands commercial issues.
The mediator will always seek a mutually acceptable settlement. This ensures the parties remain in control of the outcome and can protect their interests at all times, something we have found to be critical for businesses.
This differs from court or arbitration, where the outcome is decided by a judge or arbiter based on arguments and evidence presented to them.
Mediation offers organisations many advantages, some of which are noted here.
Advantages of Mediation
There are many benefits of mediation versus court action
We have highlighted some of the most important below
Mediation is much cheaper than court action or arbitration
The costs are known and fixed at the outset
Parties are free to determine the outcome of their dispute, giving flexibility and control
Neither party can have an outcome
imposed on them
Everything revealed during the mediation is protected by confidentiality clauses
This preserves privacy, commercially sensitive information and full legal rights
Mediation is usually resolved in one day
and can be scheduled quickly
Court action can take several months and is scheduled by the court
Effective relationships are critical to organisational success
Mediation is collaborative, strengthening relationships more than litigation can do
Mediation works around business priorities and practices
In this way mediation is much less disruptive to organisations that court action
Which disputes are suitable for mediation?
All workplace disputes should be settled quickly to protect the business.
Here are some examples where mediation has helped businesses get back on track.
Dispute regarding sales commission payments
A dispute regarding commissions threatened to stall sales and spread discontent into other departments.
Mediation resolved the dispute quickly and with little cost and established processes to avoid future issues.
Conflict over strategy direction disrupted growth
Debates and ambiguity over strategic direction caused misalignment and wasted management time.
Mediation resolved the dispute, built common purpose and re-established clarity of decision-making.
Founders disagreement threatened partnership
Growing distrust between founders was disrupting sales and the partnership was at risk.
Mediation resolved the dispute, clarified roles, re-energised the partnership and strengthen the management team.