Workplace mediation service continues
Jennifer McNeill, Regional Director
23 June 2020
Whilst we at SEE are continuing to work remotely during this continued pandemic, our offer of services, advice and consultancy is almost unchanged, including workplace mediation.
What has changed though is the creative ways that we are working with you to meet these new challenges in more flexible ways. Some have been a little tricky to achieve, finding a fresh way to approach how we do things through technology and exploring virtual communications, other ideas have been surprisingly helpful and advantageous and have created more imaginative ways to engage with a wider range of people, sharing ideas and lots of learning!
One critical area that has been a ‘casualty’ of social distancing has been workplace mediation. A key part of the success of mediation is the building of rapport between the mediator and the parties through facilitating open and honest conversations about what went wrong, what needs to be done differently to be able to learn from experiences and impacts, seek to draw a line and start to look forward by rebuilding the working relationship and establishing trust. Body language and being in the moment together to enable clarification and a safe place to challenge and say what we mean in a constructive way is just as critical as the words expressed and what is heard. My view is that so much of the ‘real people’ and explaining how they feel could be lost in conducting this through a virtual meeting.
“Every situation is different and mediation is a voluntary and informal process”
We are starting to bring mediation back to the workplace now – in-person, whilst of course maintaining a safe way of working. Measures we are putting place is to ask for a large, well ventilated room where we can sit a little further apart than we would normally and, at the same time, maintain confidentiality throughout the process. And to check that all the necessary hygiene factors are considered. We would continue to provide the usual pre-mediation discussions with the parties by telephone to introduce the mediator, ensure we have covered any concerns so that people will feel safe and secure during the day and that they are happy to continue. Every situation is different and mediation is a voluntary and informal process aimed at assisting the parties in determining their own resolution so that it will work for them.
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