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Save Time, Money, Save Stress: Make Mediation Work For You

Such was the title of the annual Civil Mediation Council (CMC) workplace mediation conference held on in the Old Library of Lloyd’s of London on 1st February.

Its stated aims to explain to those attending how to convince employers that mediation really does (as the title suggests) save time, money and stress and integrate mediation into their business.

The conference was well attended evidencing the hunger for a realistic non court led settlement procedure. Sheffield University’s Professor Paul Latreille, Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor for Learning & Teaching, provided interactive data to the delegates. An onsite poll showed that over 70% of the attendees were senior level private sector employers, proof that mediation is growing as an accepted approach to dispute resolution in the work place.

Caroline Sheridan, Chair, CMC Workplace and Employment Group summed the conference up as “an outstanding success. Mediation is enjoying considerable momentum as a core business process for employee engagement and conflict resolution. We focused on the arguments and strategies to fuel the momentum and to develop confidence in anticipating and addressing the most likely challenges.”

The poll identified the top two costs of workplace conflict as being the impact on management time, reduced engagement and performance (another phrase for loss of revenue and unhappy staff).

Sir Brendan Barber, Chairman of Acas gave the first presentation and explained how mediation works to maintain perceptions of fairness and trust in the workplace he admitted however that mediation was still not the first option for many businesses as there remains “a lack of awareness of the strong business case for mediation”.

Sony Europe’s Mark Clements, Regional Head of HR, UK & Ireland, advised they had an encouraging 100% success rate in Sony’s internal mediation policy (and as a consequence made massive savings).

Mr Clements went on to explain that having the parties meet and talk openly and in shuttle mediation allowed misconceptions to be identified and addressed.

Other notables who provided real life success stories were Robert Alcock, Head of Training at the BBC Academy; Pete Hodgson, Head of Employee Relations at Tesco Stores; Fiona Colquhoun, CEDR Director and Executive Coach; Alex Efthymiades, Director and Co-Founder, Consensio, Clive Lewis OBE, Founding Director of Globis Mediation Group; David Whincup, Partner, Head of Employment at Squire Patton Boggs and Karl Cockerill, Health & Wellbeing Practitioner and Mediation Coordinator at ELHT NHS Trust

Solution Talk are also running a mediation networking event this week in Manchester (fortuitously called the North West Mediation Network Day) which I’ll be attending to listen and share experiences of mediation it’s being held at the GMFRS on Cassidy Street and is already sold out with a waiting list for last minute cancellations.

Such is further evidence of the surge in popularity and acceptance of mediation as a first port of call in saving you, and your business, money, time and stress.

If you have a commercial dispute and want to discuss its use in your business contact Northwest Mediation on 07931318347 or at we can consult on individual disputes within your business or help you incorporate mediation techniques within your office practice and procedures.

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