Conflict is a barrier to employee engagement
Unresolved conflict is a significant barrier to employee engagement. Conflict creates uncertainty. It generates fear and exacerbates stress and anxiety. Unresolved conflicts can drain resources and act as a major block to innovation and productivity. The cost of workplace conflict runs to an estimated £33 billion each year according to the Confederation of British Industry, taking up 20 per cent of leadership-time and resulting in 370 million working days lost according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
Resolving disputes – the role of mediation
A proven approach for resolving disputes. Mediation is playing a key role in delivering the Governments strategy for reducing the number of cases reaching Employment Tribunal. Companies including Royal Mail, EDF Energy, BT, Marks and Spencer and many others are now using mediation as an integral part of their employee engagement strategies.
“Mediation has a critical role in employee engagement allowing companies to address fundamental issues in the workplace. David Macleod, Engage for Success
Rebuilding relationships using mediation
Delivered by a neutral, objective third party. It could be a senior manager, an HR professional, an internal mediator or an external professional mediator. The mediator’s role is to create the conditions for dialogue. Mediator’s help the parties to listen carefully to each other without the blame and negativity often associated with conflict. The mediator helps the parties to become more reflective and as a result, more empathetic. By creating a safe space, the mediator helps the parties to engage with each other in a constructive and compassionate way.
Employee engagement is underpinned by mediation
By bringing people together to have open and honest conversations, not only does mediation help to resolve the root cause of the conflict, it also helps to build a level of engagement in the resolution process. Drawing on best practice from the fields of Positive Psychology, Principled Negotiation and NLP, mediation encourages innovation and creativity plus it reduces the barriers to employee engagement.
When conflicts are resolved constructively, employees feel happier and stronger. They are more resilient as a result and they become more effective and engaged in the workplace.
The benefits of using mediation to build an engaged workforce:
- It gives parties in a dispute a voice and a chance to be heard.
- It is much quicker and less stressful than grievance processes, investigations and formal hearings.
- It generates empathetic, adult to adult conversations.
- Parties focus on their interests and needs rather than the strength of their relative positions.
- The parties craft their own solutions - avoiding the need for solutions to be imposed.
- It encourages creative and innovative thinking.
- It develops resilience - for individuals and for teams.
- It unlocks innovation and has the potential to drive competitive advantage.
Making mediation a reality
Great companies resolve disputes effectively and constructively. Many organisations are now training their managers and HR teams to act as mediators. In addition, organisations benefit from having access to trained and accredited external mediators.
If you need to get better outcomes from disputes at work, there has never been a better time to start using mediation.
For more information about how mediation could underpin your employee engagement strategy, please contact TCM at email@example.com