Workplace Mediation: When You Do And When You Don’t Need It

Mediation is a confidential method of resolving disputes without filing a lawsuit. Divorce mediation services are fairly common, with researchers saying that every marriage has about a 50% chance of lasting, but mediation can be used in many other ways as well. The process works well for many workplace conflicts or disputes. If you think you need a session of workplace mediation at your company, know first what situations call for mediation and which ones would not quite fit.


Situations That Can Benefit From Workplace Mediation


Mediation in the workplace can be an extremely effective way of resolving conflicts. It fosters recognition and understanding between all parties, it gives employees a sense of self-empowerment as they can voice their thoughts and concerns, and it is completely confidential. Mediation works well for conflicts between employees, as it gives an equal platform for them to resolve their issues in an impartial, nonjudgmental way. It can also work between employees and supervisors as a safe space to address performance issues, as the results are often productive rather than accusatory. When an employer intends to terminate an employee, they can also use mediation to smooth over the conflict and create an opportunity for a peaceful parting.


Situations Not Suited For Workplace Mediation


While mediation is effective in many workplace scenarios, it may not be appropriate for others. If a complainant’s issues involve serious allegations, the company should take a more formal approach with a workplace investigation rather than mediation. This method for settling workplace disputes may also not be successful if the participants are disengaged, insensitive, or not committed to understanding the other person’s perspective. All participants need to come into a mediation session with an open mind and a willingness to find a solution together. If the participants have a deep, personal antipathy towards each other, it may hard for them to overcome that during mediation.


Mediation is a great option for settling workplace conflict because it is not as costly or time-consuming as going to court, yet it is effective. A good meditation session will promote a company’s culture of collaboration and bring all parties closer together by the end.