Innogy SE is a leading energy company with the goal of enabling people to improve their quality of life by using energy more innovatively; they strive to address their customers’ needs with sustainable products and services.
Innogy want to reflect the same vision and goals in their management and employment of people, including how they deal with internal conflict; the organisation is therefore working towards implementing a full Internal Mediation Scheme. Like most energy companies, Innogy SE has gone through a lot of changes and restructuring in the past year, but the issues that the organisation want to address stem from good old-fashioned breakdowns in communication. HR Team Manager Susan Wilkins and HR Manager Cara Meakins want to drive down the number of grumbles and grievances and set up a robust framework to process cases for mediation. The vision is to leave behind the formal approach and create an environment where employees feel they can ask difficult questions and feel supported and safe.
We listened to the situation as Susan and Cara presented it; their plans to energise the existing grievance policy by embedding a resolution culture; a culture that focuses on resolving issues for employees and managers, rather than subjecting them to lengthy and formal grievance processes. Sue and Cara want the new mediation scheme to be comprised of HR, union and business representatives so that all parts of the organisation buy in to and support the change in culture and are ambassadors for the new way of doing things.
Together we tweaked TCM’s tried and tested system so that it answered Innogy SE’s requirements and designed the following package:
- A six-day National Certificate in Workplace Mediation in September.
- A one-day triaging course for the Employee Relations team in December
- A pilot mediation programme to be rolled out in February 2017
- A post-training needs analysis
- An RRR (Refresh, Recap, Reassure) session to be run once newly qualified mediators have had some experience of running mediations
- Mediation hotline open to all new mediators
We ran the mediation training in September.
Cara said: “We’ve just completed the initial training for the mediation accreditation which everyone thoroughly enjoyed and we are now progressing the written element of the assessment. The trainers were fantastic and I couldn’t recommend the course to anyone enough.”
The newly trained mediators then got down to work on their portfolios and handed them in for processing of their OCN qualifications. In December, we ran the one-day Triage training for the Employee Relations team who would be responsible for fielding the queries and explaining the concept to interested parties. “The training was very informative – clarity and detail of mediation processes and benefits to participants and organisations.”
We are in close contact with Cara and Sue to assist with the February roll-out and will design their RRR (Refresh, Recap and Reassure) course when they deem it most useful. The Innogy SE project is an inspiring example of what can be achieved when an organisation has their employees’ best interests at heart and work in partnership with union and employee representatives.