Case Study: The Royal Lancaster Hotel

How TCM helped the Lancaster Hotel

When Harriette Wolff first learned about workplace mediation, she instantly thought it would be a good fit for her organisation. As HR Officer at the Lancaster London Hotel, she believed that it could work better than the existing grievance procedure and chimed well with the company’s philosophy:
“Our core value as an organisation is “We always care” but we were finding that our disciplinary procedures didn’t really reflect that. Often the process didn’t really help the relationship of those involved and it was taking up a lot of my time as well as that of our employees and their managers.”
After attending one of TCM’s Eye Opener introductory sessions, Harriette Wolff decided to train as a mediator with TCM and, having explained the benefits of mediation to her managers, set about introducing it at the Lancaster. Mediation is now fully integrated into the luxury hotel’s policies and values and is one of the first steps offered when problems arise. Under the old system, the company had had around 40 disciplinary procedures in 2014, each taking up time and resources and sometimes leaving difficult relationships unrepaired. The new system has led to a dramatic fall in the number of procedures and, just as importantly, Harriette Wolf says it has been incredibly well received:
“We really do feel that people are happier. They couldn’t have been more welcoming of the process. It has given people a platform to speak before something turns into an conflict and they are also willing to approach us for help and support.”
The HR Officer remembers the comments made by the very first person to go through mediation at the Lancaster:
“It sticks in my mind because the colleague came out smiling. They told me ‘I’m so happy to have finally had a chance to talk. I’ve been waiting for so long to be heard.’ It made all the work seem worth it. This whole process has reminded our team members to put the human side back into their relationships. We should always be putting our employees first, they are what makes our business.”
And Harriette Wolff’s advice for anyone thinking of introducing mediation into their organisation is unequivocal:
“Just do it! I couldn’t recommend it more.”