Employers turn to mediation to resolve conflict

Half the organisations surveyed in XpertHR’s conflict management survey that have altered their conflict management approach in the last two years have introduced or made changes to their mediation procedures.

The survey also found that more than three-quarters (77.6%) of employers believe that mediation and other third-party interventions have the potential to reduce the number of tribunal claims.

Selwyn Blyth, partner at Pinsent Masons, says mediation is more often successful than not and is well worth trying.

Employers said that the most appropriate situations for using mediation were: dealing with relationship breakdowns between colleagues (39%) or between managers and employees (38%); perceived bullying or harassment (35%); and perceived discrimination (35%).

The survey of 190 employers found that the most common type of mediation service used was an external mediator on an ad hoc basis.

Rachel Suff, author of the report, commented: “Early and informal methods of conflict resolution, including independent third-party intervention such as mediation, are now a key aim of the Government’s vision for individual dispute resolution.

“Part of the attraction of mediation is that it is potentially quicker and cheaper than formal processes and can help preserve the employment relationship.”

Personnel Today announced this month that there will be a new innovation in dispute resolution category in the Personnel Today Awards 2011.

The new category has been included to reflect the growing importance of dispute resolution in the HR profession and follows the Government’s consultation on workplace disputes.

View the full findings of the conflict management survey on XpertHR.

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