14
Years
4125
Organisations
1462
Mediations
4384
Trainees

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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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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Olympia Learning and Development event

Get ideas, tips and solutions at the FREE learning and development exhibition.

Visit our stand No 668 to receive information packs and talk to our representatives about how we can help your business in creating a healthy, conflict-free working environment.

News & Articles

shutterstock_129114305_007_BOND

The new Bond film has got me thinking about the workplace investigations we undertake. OK, we’re not secret agents chasing the bad guys from one picturesque international location to the next, but there are some similarities between 007 and workplace investigators.

A lot of time is spent feeling the pressure of conducting an investigation that can withstand external scrutiny and, quite often, there isn’t a particular structure we can follow. There are guidelines but it is an instinctual and reactive process. And when you have multiple investigations going on, conducted by different people with different personalities, your results will vary.

Looking at James Bond leaping around on screen from one clue to the next, I realised that this is exactly what we do in our organisations when undertaking investigations. Only yesterday I found myself having to quickly duck as the train I was running along the top of approached a bridge. OK, that bit isn’t true, but we are all investigators looking for answers.

Whether it’s a simple exercise in preliminary investigations, just testing the ground for instability or a full scale operation with much at risk, it is always dependent on some very basic skills. Skills that most people don’t automatically possess or don’t necessarily realise are needed in an investigation:

  • Active listening during interviews to illicit the most accurate information
  • Ability to handle strong emotions that are often a factor during an investigation
  • Note-taking skills, to ensure accurate records are taken whilst still engaging in the interview
  • Fact-finding exercises with clearly defined and transparent goals
  • Basic knowledge of employment law
  • A strong and simple structure to undertaking an investigation

When delving into the detail of what a good investigation looks like, it’s easy to become nervous and apprehensive. Investigations carry with them the responsibility of consequences that will impact individuals no matter how mild the situation.

Very rarely is enough consideration given to how difficult it can be. People have to have the right skills. This is especially true for the handling of the process and the parties involved. Being able to investigate effectively is heavily dependent on whether you are able to engage those involved, ensuring that all the relevant information is uncovered while being confident enough to deal with difficult behavior.

I sometimes feel that our actual real-life roles in these investigations carry a much greater impact on those around us than that of James Bond in his films. The evidence we uncover could change and sometimes damage another person’s life.

Is your organisation equipped to conduct an investigation like this? Do you have all the steps covered if the case goes to Employment Tribunal? If not, is that a risk you should be taking?

At TCM we do not only train your employees on what constitutes a good investigation, we give them the templates and tools to be able to transform any investigation into a sure bet that will withstand external scrutiny. Furthermore, it allows the organisation to practice their investigations to a particular standard.

Say Dr No, to risk. Get your Goldfinger in the winning pie, keep a Goldeneye on the safety of your organisation and keep the Spectre of workplace conflict under control.

At the end of the day, none of us has a license to kill, but we certainly do have the potential to change the lives of those in our workplace.

 

 

Skills that most people don’t automatically possess or don’t necessarily realise are needed in an investigation:

  • Active listening during interviews to illicit the most accurate information
  • Ability to handle strong emotions that are often a factor during an investigation
  • Note-taking skills, to ensure accurate records are taken whilst still engaging in the interview
  • Fact-finding exercises with clearly defined and transparent goals
  • Basic knowledge of employment law
  • A strong and simple structure to undertaking an investigation
– Elaine Smit

The name’s Investigator. Workplace Investigator

shutterstock_131795594

In the Daily Mail a few weeks ago Darren Behar wrote an article ‘The stress 'epidemic' at work.’ In it he highlighted the increasing pressure UK public and private sector staff are under to deliver higher productivity. The article supports the 2014 ACAS report by Keith Sisson, ‘The UK Productivity Puzzle-is employment relations missing the piece?’, that UK workers are under increasing levels of stress due to having the longest working hours in Europe, combined with the threat of mass-redundancies as a prominent factor in the increasing rise of workplace sickness and absence.

Workplace stress and anxiety conditions now rate higher than backache as the leading reason for absences from work, whilst the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development Simply Health Absence Management survey reports that “Stress is, for the first time, the most common cause of long-term sickness absence for both manual and non-manual employees.”

So if stress is so prevalent in the modern workplace, what are organisations doing about it?

The latest estimates from the Labour Force Survey are telling:

  • The number of new cases of work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2013/14 was 244,000
  • The total number of working days lost due to stress, depression or anxiety was 11.3 million in 2013/14, an average of 23 days per case of stress, depression or anxiety

In short, organisations aren’t doing enough.

So let’s take a closer look at this ever increasing epidemic

Many of us think of workplace stress in relation to specific job requirements, demands or tasks, but workplace stress can also be linked to employees dealing with ongoing conflict as part of their daily work life. When this occurs, it can impact on a person’s psychological, physical and emotional well-being and influence their ability to perform their job to the best of their ability.

Whilst it is not always possible to determine the root cause of a conflict, often management and organisations only become involved once they observe or experience the consequences or increasingly destructive attitudes and behaviours of a dispute; such as poor communication/bad language, bullying, harassment, discrimination or escalating tensions.

When managers or supervisors try to address relationship problems like these, it is often much easier to reach for the antibiotic of choice; the ‘formal workplace investigation’!

The problem with this ‘pill’ is that it will not address the underlying issues of the conflict. There is no relationship ‘recovery’ and is more likely to exacerbate the symptoms by the creation of a winner and loser in the dispute. Whilst you may see signs of improvement, because the underlying injury is still there, the party is still sick and old wounds return with a vengeance.

 

There are other signs and symptoms that stress or conflict could be at the root of organisational distress.

If for example an employee has high absenteeism, the ‘Bradford Factor’ is triggered and they are called in for a disciplinary meeting. If an employee is signed off on long-term sick leave they are sent to occupational health. And of course, if they are not performing and not hitting targets, it’s the dreaded PIP. From each policy or procedure, they get the relevant medicine for each problem, with no one considering how all these symptoms may be related, or how addressing the underlying causes of these symptoms could treat everything at once.

The challenge for organisations is to find a ‘doctor’ that can easily identify the symptoms, seek early intervention and provide a sustainable approach to recovery/resolving it.

So if we could potentially solve multiple complaints by paying closer attention to the stress, why don’t we?

Well the first concern seems to be a lack of identifying there is a problem in the first place!

Increased employee engagement, occupational health and work-life balance schemes are beneficial initiatives for individual and organisational health, but in the Daily Mail article, Professor McLeod warned that “workplace anxiety will not go away unless Britain learns how to offer help to staff... but the British 'stiff upper lip' attitude often prevents people admitting how awful their workplace is.” 

So what’s the cure?

Well before you flick through your occupational health phonebook looking for a psychologist, therapist, counselor or psychiatrist, I would suggest taking a look at some alternative therapy…and no, I don’t mean reiki, acupuncture or astrology (as beneficial as these things may be to individuals’ lives...) but mediation.

Mediation and conflict management training is now being recognised as an effective alternative dispute resolution ‘therapy’ that will enable you to develop a:

  • Framework – a process whereby a neutral third party intervenes in a dispute to help the parties secure a satisfactory and constructive resolution.
  • Competence – a set of skills that HR, managers and business leaders use to secure constructive outcomes at times of conflict, change and crisi
  • Mind-set – a way of thinking and an organisational culture which embraces dialogue and collaboration rather than blame and retribution”. (David Liddle, CEO, The TCM Group)

By undergoing a TCM Conflict Health CheckTM you are more able to get beneath workplace problems and make changes to working practices that can benefit employees and the organisation more generally in the long term.

An internal Resolution Audit ‘diagnosis’ is the initial stage on uncovering:

  • The cost of conflicts and disputes to your business.
  • The impact of conflict on your managers and leaders.
  • The impact of conflict on your employees (stress, morale and productivity).
  • The impact of conflict on the management of change and transformation.
  • The impact of conflict on your employee engagement and wellbeing initiatives.
  • The impact of conflict on your customer’s experience.

By introducing mediation, becoming a trained mediator or implementing an internal resolution scheme into your organisation, our Dispute Resolution Team will look at how to effectively treat some of the common causes and symptoms and support you on:

You will be doing away with ‘Dr Justice’s’ tired, ageing and dogmatic approach to resolving workplace disputes.  Nor will you be bringing in ‘Dr Quack’ to ask all of your employees to dance naked around a bonfire at midnight.

Instead you will be looking at a more comprehensive, holistic and innovative approach to diagnosing and treating workplace symptoms AND causes of workplace conflict.

If you’d like to find out more on our Resolution Audit and Conflict Health CheckTM, then log on to the TCM website at wwww.thetcmgroup.com or give us a call on 0800 294 9787 and speak to one our  consultants who’ll be happy to book you in for a check-up.

Remember, prevention is better than cure!

Jerome Witter

Senior Resolution Consultant

LinkedIn

 

Survey reports that “Stress is, for the first time, the most common cause of long-term sickness absence for both manual and non-manual employees.”

– Chartered Institute of Personnel Development Simply Health Absence Management

Mediation or medication? Treating the cause and not the symptom of workplace stress

TCM Leadiator- The TCM Group-01-01

There’s a huge contradiction at the heart of most workplaces. It attacks productivity, saps morale and leaves everyone – and the bottom line – worse off. And it’s perfectly highlighted by the results of a survey we recently carried out here at TCM.

When we asked our customers and contacts who was responsible for dealing with conflict in their organisation, 86% said that managers were.

But when we asked respondents whether they’d ever had any specific training in dealing with conflict an astonishing 48% said they hadn’t. A further 33% said it had been more than a year since their last training.

That, in a nutshell, is the problem we face, the circle we are often struggling to square. We expect our managers to deal with conflict but all too often we don’t equip them with the skills they need to do it.

Managers and leaders are busy people. They often have endless tasks competing for their attention. If they don’t feel equipped to tackle conflict it is not surprising that many just hope the situation will go away or sort itself out.

And that is why we need Leadiators.

Leadiators combine the skills of leadership and mediation to help our workplaces handle difficult conversations.

When you look at the leader and mediator roles, they already have much in common and their skills often overlap.

Leadership

Many workplace conflicts involve leadership challenges. In the majority of workplace conflicts at least one party in the mediation process is a leader, manager, supervisor or team leader.

Even when one of the parties in the mediation is not a manager, often management or leadership style is mentioned at some point during the mediation process.

It is important that leaders are aware of their management or leadership style, as well as the other styles they have available to them, so they can adapt to the situation and people they are leading.

Leadiators can help other managers who are not so aware and adaptive to dealing with conflict to be more mindful when leading or managing their teams.

Communication

Leaders are expected to communicate difficult messages, sometimes in difficult situations. Mediation training allows managers and leaders to handle challenging scenarios professionally with empathy, diplomacy, discretion and clarity. The same expectations are placed on a skilled and trained mediator.

Communication often underpins all conflict in the form of miscommunication, lack of communication or misunderstanding of what was said.

Differences in communication style can also lead to conflict through frustrations and misunderstandings of intent and meaning.

By being an effective communicator and active listener, Leadiators can allow others to exchange facts, feelings or impressions in a way that each gains a common understanding of the events and issues involved.

Coaching ability

Coaching is a process in which you work with someone to determine the current situation, set goals for the future and plan ways to meet these goals.

Coaching through mediation is very useful in conflict resolution. It can be used to prepare parties for mediation and assist parties to shift from narrow thinking to more broad, reflective and positive ways of thinking.

This allows parties to take in and consider more information than their initial assumptions, and thoughts, about the situation.

The goal of a good Leadiator is to increase self- and other-awareness and to increase the likelihood of behavioural change. This, in turn, increases the likelihood of effective and sustainable outcomes in the mediation process and transfers into the wider successes of the business.

Solution focus

Leadership is all about having a vision of where you want to be and working to achieve that vision.

The goal of mediation is to resolve the present conflict and ensure the relationships are ‘healed’ to some extent.    

Solution-focused thinking, feeling and behaving is as important in conflict resolution as it is in strong leadership. A successful mediation process requires a high level of future-focus from individuals in order to establish clear needs, goals.

This creates a clear vision to work towards specific solution-focused requests from each other to make that vision become a reality.

Trust

You can’t be a great leader without trust.

You can have a compelling vision, rock-solid strategy, excellent communication skills, innovative insight and a skilled team, but if people don’t trust you, you will never get the results you want.

Mistrust fosters frustration, dissent and low productivity. Establishing or rebuilding trust is an essential skill for a leader and a mediator to understand the ongoing relationship where parties are part of a team or work closely together.

Leaders understand the different forms of trust and psychological contracts that can exist within an organisation. Leadiators have the required skills to assist parties to begin to rebuild that trust.

They help to ensure resolutions are workable and sustainable. Leadiators facilitate the trust-building process through managing conversations about how the parties will begin rebuilding their trust through mutual understanding of what is required, and how to ensure that the steps are carried out.

Train for success

As you can see, a good leader and a good mediator share numerous skills and qualities.

By introducing mediation training or a mediated approach to conflict resolution into your organisation, you will be demonstrating your commitment to recognising and more importantly efficiently resolving issues that arise between your employees.

This will also help to rebuild any trust which may have been lost during the turbulent times of conflict.

Watch: ‘Leadiation ’ Management Mediation Key Leadership Skills Webinar 

When we asked our customers and contacts who was responsible for dealing with conflict in their organisation, 86% said that managers were.

 

But when we asked respondents whether they’d ever had any specific training in dealing with conflict an astonishing 48% said they hadn’t. A further 33% said it had been more than a year since their last training.

 

There is  definitely a place for managers conducting mediation...but it is vital that the managers involved have the appropriate level of mediation training.

– Sally Bright
Employment Rights Officer at Trade Union Congress

Psychological Contracts are based on, unwritten rules, perceptions and expectations between individuals, but carry huge significance to the smooth running of a work environment.

5 reasons your business needs Leadiators

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