The Benefits of Workplace Mediation 

The Benefits of Workplace Mediation

By Alice Holtom & Alex Christian

People can fall out at work for a variety of reasons, including miscommunication, competition, different work styles, power dynamics, personal differences, stress and burnout, and organisational changes. It is important to address conflicts and disputes in a timely and effective manner to maintain a positive work environment and improve working relationships.

Conflict resolution is the process of resolving disputes or disagreements between individuals or groups and can take various forms, such as negotiation, mediation, arbitration, or litigation. 

Effective conflict resolution requires clear communication, active listening, and a willingness to find a mutually acceptable solution. It can lead to improved relationships, increased understanding and cooperation, and a more positive and productive work environment.

Workplace mediation is a conflict resolution process in which a neutral third-party mediator facilitates communication and negotiation between disputing employees or between an employee and management. The goal of workplace mediation is to find a mutually mutually agreeable outcome that addresses the needs and concerns of all parties involved, in a confidential and non-adversarial setting. Workplace mediation can be used to resolve a wide range of conflicts, such as disagreements over job duties, misunderstandings, harassment, and interpersonal conflicts. 

Mediation is considered effective because it provides a structured and neutral setting for parties in conflict to communicate and work towards a mutually agreed upon solution. The mediator facilitates communication, explores and helps parties understand each other's perspectives, and guides them in finding creative and lasting solutions. This process can be faster and less formal  to alternative that traditional grievance procedures or litigation and less expensive than going to court, and often leads to more satisfactory outcomes, as the parties have more control over the outcome. Importantly in the workplace, the confidential and non-adversarial nature of mediation can help maintain or repair relationships.

Workplace mediation has several benefits including:

Quick resolution: Mediation can resolve conflicts and disputes in a timely manner, often faster than traditional legal or disciplinary procedures.

Cost-effective: Mediation is usually less expensive than other methods of resolving disputes, such as litigation or arbitration.

Confidential: Mediation provides a confidential setting where parties can discuss sensitive issues without fear of public exposure.

Empowering: Mediation empowers employees to take an active role in resolving conflicts and improving working relationships.

Improved communication: Mediation helps improve communication skills and promotes active listening and understanding between parties.

Flexible: Mediation can be tailored to the specific needs of the workplace and the individuals involved, allowing for a flexible and creative solution.

Preserves relationships: Mediation can help preserve working relationships and prevent future conflicts by encouraging mutual understanding and cooperation.

A more peaceful workplace: By resolving conflicts, mediation can lead to a more positive and productive work environment.

Having a trained and experienced mediator will help ensure a successful and effective workplace mediation process, leading to improved working relationships and a more positive work environment.

The benefits of using a trained and experienced mediator include:

1. Neutrality: A trained mediator is neutral and impartial, providing a safe and fair environment for the parties to communicate and resolve conflicts.

2. Conflict resolution skills: Trained mediators have specialised skills and techniques for resolving conflicts, which can result in a faster and more effective outcome.

3. Improved communication: A trained mediator can help improve communication between parties by facilitating active listening and effective expression of needs and concerns.

4. Confidentiality: Trained mediators are bound by confidentiality agreements, ensuring that sensitive information remains private.

5. Objective decision-making: Trained mediators can provide objective decision-making and help parties see each other's perspectives, leading to more mutually acceptable solutions.

6. Knowledge of relevant laws and regulations: Experienced mediators are knowledgeable about relevant laws and regulations and can help parties navigate complex legal issues.

7. Professionalism: Trained and experienced mediators maintain professional standards and conduct, promoting a respectful and constructive resolution process.

All a successful workplace mediation requires is the involvement of a trained and skilled mediator, and a commitment from all parties to engage in the process in good faith. Studies have shown that approximately 70- 80% of workplace mediation cases are successful, with the parties finding consensus on the way to move on however that might look. This is a significantly higher success rate compared to other forms of dispute resolution, such as civil court proceedings or arbitration.

Below are two examples of Wensum Mediation case studies –

Example 1 -

A small business was facing challenges due to the impact of the pandemic on its operations. Some employees were unable to work from home and had to take time off due to illness or caring for family members, while others were struggling with the increased workload caused by the pandemic.

The business owner and several employees came into conflict over the company's response to the pandemic and the impact it was having on their work. The owner felt that the employees were not adapting well to the changes, while the employees felt that the owner was not providing adequate support or accommodations.

Using active listening and targeted questions in the private sessions the mediator gained an in depth understanding of the all the issues and helped the participants to have a greater understanding of their own and each other's concerns and needs. During an open session later in the day the mediator facilitated a conversation between the parties, allowing them to express their views and listen to each other. The result was ability on both sides to move away from their entrenched perspectives and reach a mutually acceptable agreement, which involved the implementation of new policies and procedures to accommodate the needs of employees during the pandemic.

After the mediation, the owner and the employees were able to work together more effectively, and their relationship improved significantly. The resolution of the conflict also had a positive impact on the overall work environment, leading to improved morale and productivity.

This example demonstrates how workplace mediation can be an effective tool for resolving conflicts and improving relationships in the workplace, even in the face of challenges posed by the Covid pandemic.

Example 2 –

A dispute between a senior flight attendant and a junior flight attendant. The senior flight attendant filed a complaint alleging that the junior flight attendant was not following proper safety protocols, which was causing concern among passengers and creating a stressful work environment.

The airline's human resources department referred the case to mediation to resolve the issue. The mediation took place in a daylong session, with both flight attendants and a representative from human resources present.

The mediator helped facilitate a constructive dialogue both in private and open sessions and it emerged that one was terribly concerned about their own safety and other lacked confidence and training but didn’t feel able to say anything for fear of losing their job. 

The result was that the junior flight attendant was offered additional training and support on flight safety protocols which will ultimately improve their performance, confidence and job satisfaction. After recalling their early days as a junior, the senior flight attendant was empathetic of the stresses and pressures of being new to the role and offered to provide additional support and mentorship to the junior flight attendant. The final outcome will not only result in improved performance and safety but actually improved the relationship between the two participants and the ongoing working relationship and work environment 

The mediation was successful in resolving the issue, but also in preventing any further conflicts by bringing the two participants closer. The resolution was seen as a win-win for both flight attendants, as the senior flight attendant was able to have confidence in the safety protocols being followed and the junior flight attendant was able to improve their performance and receive additional support and mentorship. The airline also benefited by being able to resolve the issue in a timely and cost-effective manner, preserving its reputation and avoiding any negative impact on operations.


At Wensum Mediation, we understand that conflicts in the workplace can be disruptive, costly, and damaging to both employees and the organisation as a whole. Our team of mediators is trained to help parties communicate effectively, understand each other's perspectives, and find common ground. Our non-judgmental and supportive environment allows all parties to feel heard and respected.

We are committed to providing the highest standard of service and professionalism. Our team of mediators is fully accredited and dedicated to resolving disputes in the most effective way possible. Don't let workplace conflicts harm your business – contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn how we can help.