Conflict in the workplace is a costly business

Conflict is an inevitable part of the employment relationship; however differences between individuals can lead to a range of costs associated with

  • Staff time consumed by formal grievance procedures, and employment tribunal claims
  • Lowered performance, as focus shifts to the dispute
  • Absence costs
  • Recruitment and re-training costs where individuals leave an organisation
  • Lower staff morale
  • Poor working relationships within the teams affected
  • The employer’s external reputation could be compromised

What is workplace mediation?

Workplace Mediation is outside formal processes and can provide a speedy resolution to disputes.  Mediation creates a safe space for the individuals to say what they want to say, and be listened to. 

It is a structured approach that is highly effective at all stages of a dispute.  Mediators serve as the bridge between individuals, and encourage communication between parties. They help parties talk through the issues, gain insights, and open up the possibility of change.

Mediation is used between work colleagues in any situation where relationships are strained. Colleagues might have the same job or similar grade, but equally they may hold positions of different seniority, for example.

Benefits of mediation

  • Quicker and cheaper than internal procedures or litigation
  • Reduces stress and anxiety commonly associated with conflict
  • Improved working relationships
  • Reduction in sickness absence
  • Better staff retention
  • Generates better and longer lasting solutions
  • Prevents disagreements getting out of control and affecting the wider team
  • Encourages a more positive workplace – a culture of openness, empowerment and personal responsibility
  • Personal growth – helping participants develop the skills to resolve disputes for themselves in future

    The Process

    Two mediators co-work on a case. Mediation is typically completed in one day, or spread over two half-days. It uses the following process:

    • Initial Assessment – by telephone
    • Confidential meeting – person 1
    • Confidential meeting – person 2
    • Preparation for joint meeting
    • Joint meeting

    In more complex cases more time may be required, for which there will an additional cost.

    To ensure confidentiality, sessions are usually held at the MESH office.


    • Bullying & harassment allegations
    • Disagreements about roles and responsibilities
    • Personality clashes
    • Lifestyle and cultural differences
    • Gender issues
    • Conflicts arising from change and the management of change.


    • A manager loses 25% of their time dealing with dysfunctional conflict
    • A manager loses 14.4 days to each formal grievance, and 18 days for each disciplinary (CIPD 2011)
    • The average cost of defending an Employment Tribunal Claim is £8,500 (British Chamber of Commerce 2011)
    • The average Employment Tribunal settlement is £9,120 (Tribunal Service Statistics 2009/10)

    Would you like to discuss making a referral with one of our Mediators?

    We're happy to answer your questions and discuss whether mediation is right for you.

    Name *