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TCM Core Services

Here at TCM, we pride ourselves on helping organisations resolve the toughest challenges. We train business leaders to build strong teams and manage organisational change.

As the UK’s leading mediation and resolution consultancy, we have worked with over 4,000 organisations to help them embed a culture of mediation.

Workplace Mediation

Workplace mediation has proven to reduce employee grievances by over 50%, and our customers have reported savings in excess of £180,000 a month. Workplace mediation services resolve complex and challenging disputes such as allegations of bullying, harassment or relationship breakdowns - swiftly, effectively and with as little disruption as possible.

Over 90% of disputes resolved in just one day

Investigation services

Our independent workplace investigation service is ideal for responding to a specific allegation or set of allegations. Areas covered by our investigations service include bullying, harassment, misconduct, discrimination, performance, grievances, whistleblowing, theft, fraud, bribery and complaints from customers, clients or services users.

Over 1,385 workplace investigations carried out

Management Training

Many leaders and managers are promoted based on their technical skills rather than their ability to handle people management challenges. As a result, valuable time and money is wasted, all of which could be spent growing your business. Based on proven teaching and learning methods, TCM helps develop the leaders that your company needs.

91% of business leaders feel they would benefit this training

National Certificate

The National Certificate in Workplace Mediation is our flagship course. This course has been delivered and refined over the past thirteen years and we have trained many hundreds of active mediators across the UK using the FAIR model™ of mediation. The course is delivered over a 5-6 day period for groups of between 6 to 12 delegates.

Fully accredited by the Open College Network (OCN)

Our Clients

Why use TCM integrated services

"Can you afford to ignore the cost of conflict to your business?"

Differences between individuals at work can lead to grievances, absenteeism and ultimately loss of valuable employees. As a result, workplace disputes cost businesses tens of thousands of pounds per year.

Mediation helps people sort out their differences - often in just one-day. That’s why organisations nationwide are increasingly using mediation to resolve workplace disputes. Mediation offers a faster, cheaper and more complete solution to conflict. Not only do companies save money by preventing the majority of disputes from progressing to costly employment tribunals, it can also make a real difference to people’s lives. Mediation offers all parties the chance to work together to find a realistic and constructive resolution to their conflict. This reduces employees’ levels of stress and gives them greater satisfaction at work.

Courses

About Courses

We offer a wide range of training courses including managing difficult conversations, workplace mediation and investigation skills. Our training courses are available nationwide and in-house. Our training can be tailored to the needs of your business and delivered at your premises.

Click view all courses to see our full range of courses and more information.  

View All Courses

Training and Service suites

Our service suites are based on our 14 years’ experience working with the UK’s largest organisations. Each suite is based on proven practical knowledge which can be specifically tailored to suit your business needs. Click on the suites below to find out how you can create a strong leadership, positive environment for employees and organisational growth. 

Workplace conflict costs employers thousands of pounds in lost time, absenteeism and lowered productivity. Visit the resolution suite to see how you can resolve these problems with mediation, early conciliation or the full adoption of the model resolution policy.

Employers will be held liable if a poor investigation leads to an unfair dismissal or fails to identify discrimination or other misconduct in the workplace. Visit this suite for information on workplace investigations and neutral investigations.

 

Many leaders and managers are promoted based on their technical skills rather than their ability to handle people management challenges. As a result, valuable time and money is wasted, all of which could be spent growing your business.

 

The Learning and Development suite - how to manage bad performance, create strong productive teams and investigate workplace grievances. Visit this suite to see our range of courses. 

 

A new approach to dispute resolution modelled around collaboration, dialogue, mediation and interest based negotiation. Enter this suite to find our more about integrated mediation and out-sourced mediation schemes. 

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What is mediation and how does it work? How are organisations like M&S, EDF and Lloyds using mediation to save money and increase employee wellbeing?

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10 off courses

Interest in training – want a 10% discount? Book more than three months in advance and we will give you 10% of all courses. Call today and speak to an advisor.

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Monthly webinar

Want more information on leadership and management? Sign up for our monthly webinar and learn to resolve problems and create a collaborative team.

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News & Articles

bullying-at-work

Bullying in the workplace

The Jekyll and Hyde in your office

Perceived wisdom has it that the only way to stop bullies is to stand up to them….but I tried it and it didn’t work….so if you’ve been the victim of bullying read on.

One of the only good things to come out of my experience is that I am now able to recognise the classic characteristics of a bully, some of which you may be surprised to learn, so read on.

Like many people who’ve been bullied I quit my job…I tried to go through official channels but nobody wanted to address it, even though the person had been accused of bullying twice before. Management had apparently “had a quiet word” and believed it had stopped!

I was just giving them another problem.   It was as much this attitude and the failure of senior management to deal with the situation as it was the behavior of the bully that made me resign.  An organization that fails to tackle such an important issue is often not worth working for.

Firstly, it might be useful to define what bullying is. 

Bullying in the workplace

Bullying is not specifically defined in law as it is not enshrined in legislation, although it can often be part of what is described as discriminatory behaviour.  ACAS defines it as “offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behavior, an abuse or misuse of power through means intended to undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure the recipient”.

Harassment is covered by the Equality Act 2010 which defines it as “unwanted conduct affecting the dignity of men and women in the workplace.”  It may be related to age, sex, race, disability, religion, sexual orientation, nationality or any personal characteristic of the individual, and may be a persistent or an isolated incident. The key is that the actions or comments are viewed as demeaning and unacceptable”.

The terms harassment and bullying are often used interchangeably, but I think bullying differs from harassment in that the latter can result from a small number of fairly serious incidents - which everybody recognizes as harassment - whereas bullying tends to be an accumulation of many small incidents over a long period of time. Each incident tends to be trivial, and on its own and out of context does not constitute an offence or grounds for disciplinary or grievance action.

This is what makes it so insidious and difficult to tackle both for the employer and the employee.
What is interesting however is that most workplace bullies share classic character traits. These   can include being charismatic, deceptive, and manipulative.

Recognise these behaviours’?

Charismatic

  • May occupy a role that is important in some way
  • Very self-assured
  • May give off an impression of trustworthiness and reliability

Deceptive

  • Compulsive liar: spontaneously makes things up to fit the needs of the moment Routinely embellishes stories for effect
  • Doesn't listen, can't sustain a meaningful conversation and is hollow, superficial and glib
  • Apparently cannot distinguish between leadership, management and bullying and is oblivious to the difference between how he or she would like to be seen, and how he or she is seen

Manipulative

  • Wants to control everything
  • Projects his or her own shortcomings onto others
  • Threatens dire consequences for people under his or her influence, who think or act for themselves. Threats could be made directly in private, or indirectly in front of witnesses

They are often summed up in the phrase: “a Jekyll & Hyde nature”:

  • Can be innocent and charming some of the time (typically in the presence of witnesses), but vicious and vindictive at other times (typically where there are no witnesses).

Tim Field, the prominent anti-bullying activist estimated that one person in thirty has several of these traits, and he describes these types of people “as aggressive but intelligent individuals who express their aggression psychologically rather than physically”.
It makes fascinating reading doesn’t it?

A major barrier to organizational efficiency and productivity and a major cost to organizations and to economies as a whole

– Head of the Leadership, Work and Organisation’s Department at Middlesex University
Professor, Clive R. Boddy,
What can employers do about it?

Perceived wisdom has it that the only way to stop bullies is to stand up to them….but I tried it and it didn’t work….so if you’ve been the victim of bullying read on.
 
One of the only good things to come out of my experience is that I am now able to recognise the classic characteristics of a bully, some of which you may be surprised to learn, so read on.
 
Like many people who’ve been bullied I quit my job…I tried to go through official channels but nobody wanted to address it, even though the person had been accused of bullying twice before. Management had apparently “had a quiet word” and believed it had stopped!
 
I was just giving them another problem.   It was as much this attitude and the failure of senior management to deal with the situation as it was the behavior of the bully that made me resign.  An organization that fails to tackle such an important issue is often not worth working for.

Firstly, it might be useful to define what bullying is. 

Mediation

It is somewhat ironic; that having been bullied in the workplace I am now a mediator, often working with parties who believe they are the victims of bullying and harassment. As a mediator I’ve heard the phrase, “he/she’s a bully” more times than I care to mention.  It’s a catch all phrase and often difficult to unpack.  But once that is done, parties often see the behavior differently and reach an agreement which enables them to move forward and work together once more.  This is often when the bullying is casual and hasn’t become entrenched – we can all behave badly from time to time afterall.

However, from my experience both as victim and mediator I believe the Jekyll and Hyde characters are out there, classic bullies who act badly time after time and organizations need to tackle them.  It is important not only for an organisation’s credibility; staff retention, health and wellbeing but also for their bottom line.

Bullying in the workplace

resolution revolution

Three part guide to dispute resolution for HR Professionals

In this series of posts, I will explore why the time has come for organisations to take the grief out of grievance and adopt a new approach to dispute resolution.
 
by David Liddle | 12th Dec 2014
Part one: Conflict at work – threat or opportunity?

I bet you’re thinking, isn’t it both: a threat and an opportunity? Of course, you would be right. So why is that we have become so bad at resolving disputes? Why is it that our managers and leaders find conflict so hard to handle? Why is it that so many employees are damaged by feuds and quarrels that should have been nipped in the bud but have instead escalated to a level that no one wanted and no one benefits from?

In this series of posts, I will explore why the time has come for organisations to take the grief out of grievance and adopt a new approach to dispute resolution.

Unresolved conflict is a barrier to business success

Unresolved workplace conflicts are one of the most significant barriers to business performance. Conflict creates uncertainty. It generates fear and it creates stress. Unresolved conflicts at work can drain resources, undermine team working, stifle innovation and act as a major block at times of change or transformation. The costs of conflict run to an estimated £33 billion each year according to the Confederation of British Industry. Each grievance takes up to seven days management time and 370 million days are lost each year due to conflict, stress and bullying according to the CIPD.

However, psychologists including Dr Bruce Tuckman, argue that conflict (storming) is a normal stage in team development*. So why do we get it so wrong? As a mediator, my experience leads me to conclude that it is not conflict that is the problem; it is the way that we handle it.

*Dr Bruce Tuckmans 4 stages of team development. Forming, storming, norming and performing (1965)

Ands its not just HR who are driving these changes; Unions are coming out in support of this new approach.

“Everyone has a right to work in an environment of mutual respect, dignity and support. The TCM Model Resolution Policy is a positive move to attaining this. This Policy will help to transform the way workplace disputes are managed and in turn will change the working lives for the staff working within the Council. As a trade union representative, and also as a staff member, I am keen on the implementation of such a positive approach for managing disputes in the workplace.”

– Liz Skinner
Unison Steward and Service Conditions Officer. Kent County Council
Taking the grief out of grievance

The traditional grievance procedure offers a one size fits all approach to dispute resolution. The very term “grievance” is unhelpful and damaging as it conjures up words such as blame, hostility, betrayal, loss of control and sanction. Grievance procedures are predominantly concerned with the rights, rather than the interests, of the parties.

They are reactive, they are inherently adversarial and they are all about winners and losers. It’s binary justice. Rather than encouraging dialogue, grievance procedures harden positions and polarise the parties. Let’s not forget that this is the procedure of choice for resolving disputes in the majority of UK organisations.

It is time for a radical rethink of dispute resolution within our organisations. We need a new vernacular to define these issues and we urgently need a new way to handle and resolve them.

I call it the the Resolution Revolution.

Putting resolution into the heart of your business

In May last year, I launched my Model Resolution Policy at the Law Society in front of over 100 companies, all of whom were hungry to be part of the Resolution Revolution.

The Model Resolution Policy delivers the following:

  • It provides a timely and effective alternative to grievance procedures.
  • It reduces the risk of an adversarial escalation and restores the psychological contract.
  • It develops a robust triage and dispute diagnostic framework for HR.
  • It normalises dialogue and collaboration as preferred mechanisms for resolving disputes.
  • It helps to rebuild trust between disputing parties.
  • It offers mediation at all stages of a dispute.
  • It develops conflict resilient workplaces.
  • It underpins employee engagement activities.
  • It promotes well being and reduces stress.

Large organisations including Royal Mail, Marks and Spencer, Lloyds Bank and BT amongst many, many others are now resolving issues using dialogue and interest based problem solving. I have been helping these any many other organisations re-frame how they handle grievances with incredible results.

In my next post, I will explain how HR Professionals are using mediation to resolve disputes and to drive collaborative business practices.

If you would like a free copy of my Model Resolution Policy, please email me at david.liddle@thetcmgroup.com

Three part guide to dispute resolution

top 3 mistakes

Top 3: Mistakes made by managers

1. Not dealing with conflict
Don’t: avoid difficult conversations. At some stage every business has to make tough decisions that may not be popular with everyone.
 
Managers have a habit of hoping an prickly issue or conflict between employees will go away of its own accord. It usually doesn’t.
 
Do: address conflict. Workplace conflict can be challenging, particularly when it involves complex or sensitive issues. However, resolving conflict ultimately saves you time and money. It reduces stress, increases productivity and helps retain employees.
 
Address conflict by attacking the problem, not the person. Focus on what you and others can do to solve the problem, without playing the blame game, and you will soon be able to move on from the conflict together.
 
2. Failure to engage your team
Don’t: underestimate the importance of engaged employees. Through no fault of their own, managers are usually appointed because of their technical ability, rather than their ability to engage and communicate with their team.
 
When employees leave a company, the most common reason is the relationship with their manager. Employees leave managers, not jobs or companies. 
 
Do: encourage workplace engagement. Most employees want to be part of a compelling future. Support employees to express their ideas and perspectives without criticism.
 
Keep them informed on what’s going on and how their jobs contribute to the organisation as a whole.
 
3. Doing it all yourself
Don’t: attempt to solve every problem yourself. Managers often avoid asking for help out of fear that it will be seen as a sign of weakness. 
 
Do: work through problems collaboratively or as a team. Encouraging team members to take responsibility for resolving an issue can be empowering and increase their sense of engagement.
 
If your organisation doesn’t have the skills to resolve issues internally, look outside for help. A little investment in engaging your team and creating a more positive environment can go a long way to improving overall performance and saving money in the future.
 
Of course, these of just some of the challenges managers face. Getting the best out of people can be the one of the biggest challenges an organisation faces, yet seldom is it addressed properly.

If you’re looking to tackle conflict in your organisation, increase engagement in your team or resolve complex issues, get in touch.

For a free consultation to see how our training courses or services could help your organisation, call us today on 0207 404 7011 or email info@thetcmgroup.com to request a call back.

Top 3 Mistakes made by managers

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