workplace mediation process
I start by talking to the employer - usually, but not always, HR. This could be over the phone or face-to-face. We decide if mediation is a suitable possible next step.
The participants are then introduced to me, usually via email.
I read relevant paperwork and ensure that I am fully briefed. I then contact the employees involved in the mediation separately to discuss the matter. These meetings can last up to an hour and are undertaken face-to-face or via telephone/Skype/Zoom or MS Teams. I ensure that all participants are willing to engage in the mediation process.
At this point, I focus on their perspectives and issues and answer any questions that they might have. I use coaching techniques to sot hat they are able to open up and so that I am fully briefed.
Sometimes I might be asked to support a particular participant with more than one session so that they feel fully ready for the mediation.
The mediation meeting can be face-to-face or online. If it's face-to-face it will usually be held at an off-site location so that the participants can be in an environment away from the office where they will not be disturbed. It will also be neutral and help them to talk freely within the context of mutually agreed respectful ground rules.
I am a guide who aims to facilitate the creation of a mutually agreed 'Working Plan'. The content of this is decided by the participants who agree how to work together in the future.
The 'Working Plan' will address the concerns of all participants. It can be an eye-opening, helpful experience for them to understand each other's perspectives.
Truly understanding one another can be a breakthrough in moving disputes forward and good communication is likely to lead to positive outcomes.
The Working Plan is usually shared with HR (with the participants permission) but the content of the mediation is kept confidential.
FOLLOW UP SERVICE/CONFLICT COACHING
I contact the participants approximately a month after the mediation to check that sustainable success has been achieved. This allows me to check in with everyone and see how the action plan is being implemented.
I also provide psychometric testing and conflict coaching, to support the participants after the mediation has concluded. I work with other coaches who specialise in conflict management where there are multiple participants requiring coaching support.