The morning paper: an institute, a tradition, a household name. Collectively at 7am across Britain, the sound of crisp news pages, crumpled from too-tight letterboxes, can be heard unfolding over the kitchen table. Steaming mugs of coffee are clasped, drops spilling onto the inky text, as readers rub sleep from their eyes and headlines blur into vision. A familiar scene made possible by Marie Coombes, formerly Industrial Relations Mediator at the Royal Mail, delivering the people that deliver the post.
Marie Coombes worked for Royal Mail for 17 years, specialising in conflict resolution and mediation, training, change management, employee and industrial relations and employee engagement. In 2014 she became an accredited mediator through TCM’s National Certificate in Workplace mediation. During her 5 years as full-time in-house workplace mediator, she completed over 250 cases with a success rate of 95% in a complex and often volatile industrial relations environment. Her strong relationships with union officials and management at all levels smoothed the way to a successful outcome in many instances.
As well as mediations, Marie developed and delivered bespoke group mediations, team facilitations and wider ranging engagement activity to help understand the root cause of issues in a particular business unit. In 2020 she won the workplace mediator of the year award at the National Mediation Awards in recognition of her excellence in the field of mediation, and in particular for her expertise in mental health and her rapid adaptation to online mediation in the face of the Covid19 pandemic.
She has a passion for empowering and engaging those with mental health concerns and neurodiversity, especially in relation to the impact conflict has on employee wellbeing. Prior to leaving Royal Mail she was the team mentor for mental health issues in mediations; designing and delivering a half day training course on Mediation and Mental Health, as well as being a business-wide mental health ambassador. She is also currently a Time to Change Champion and a Mental Health First Aider.
As a trainer, Marie’s primary focus is providing courses that exceed clients and delegates expectations. During both her Royal Mail and TCM career she has designed and delivered many courses to huge success. Clients have included the Civil Service; TSB; and Public Health England She has also delivered TCM’s flagship course: National Certificate in Workplace Mediation, face to face and online as both in-house and open access.
In her spare time, she enjoys walking her 2 dogs, listening to music, running and weight training, and spending time with her family.
See Marie in action on our mock mediation webinar here.