Beyond One Day: The Evolution of Workplace Mediation

Single-day workplace mediations, once the standard approach, are now yielding to more nuanced models.

This piece investigates how workplace mediation is evolving, spotlighting the rising demand for personalised strategies that cater to the specific distinctions within each conflict.

While single-day mediations can be efficient, they often lack the depth and flexibility to address the complexities of workplace conflicts. More and more, mediators are adopting a more phased approach, which typically involves:

  • Pre-mediation meetings: Before the main mediation session, the mediator may choose to meet with each party individually. This allows for deeper exploration of their concerns, perspectives, and desired outcomes, facilitating a more informed and productive joint session.
  • Multi-day mediations: Depending on the case’s complexity, extending the mediation beyond one day can provide more extensive discussion and negotiation, increasing the chances of reaching a mutually beneficial resolution.
  • Post-mediation support: The mediator’s role often extends beyond the initial session. Follow-up meetings can be valuable in ensuring the parties implement the agreed-upon terms and address any unforeseen challenges. This ongoing support can significantly contribute to the sustainability of the achieved solution.

This evolving approach can foster a safer and more collaborative environment for conflict resolution. By dedicating time for understanding each party’s perspective and facilitating open communication, mediators can empower individuals to reach sustainable solutions that address both the immediate dispute and the underlying issues impacting the workplace environment.

Workplace mediation is not a “one-size-fits-all” process. This shift towards a phased and dynamic approach reflects the understanding that true conflict resolution benefits from a deeper understanding of individual perspectives and ongoing support for successful implementation of the agreed-upon solution. This evolution ensures that mediation remains a powerful tool for fostering positive change and building a more harmonious workplace environment.

Feedback on our Panel

“The individual clients in this case were very hostile towards one another and very difficult, the mediator dealt with the personalities very expertly.”
– Head of HR, UK University

CEDR’s Expertise in Workplace Mediation:

CEDR boasts extensive experience in resolving various workplace conflicts through mediation. Here are some notable examples:

  • Bullying and Harassment: A complex class action suit against a senior executive was successfully resolved. Coaching was later provided to the executive to facilitate behavioural changes outlined in the settlement.
  • Discrimination Claims: CEDR mediated disputes involving senior employees facing allegations of sex and race discrimination, with claims exceeding £1.5 million each.
  • Wrongful Dismissal: A complex case involving multiple issues like termination, bonus entitlement, and stock options, with claims exceeding £890,000, was resolved through mediation.
  • Workplace Dynamics: In the charity sector, a dispute involving accusations of racism amongst employees was mediated successfully.
  • Executive Relationships: CEDR facilitated mediation in a situation where the relationship breakdown between a CEO and Deputy CEO was impacting performance.
  • Maternity Leave and Discrimination: A £1 million claim for sex and race discrimination lodged by a female employee returning from maternity leave in the professional services sector was resolved through mediation.

Enquire here to discover more about how a CEDR Workplace mediator will help you in your Workplace dispute.

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