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Becoming a ‘conflict competent’ employer

Conflict occurs in a multitude of contexts. It may be two colleagues who seem unable to work together, a poorly handled customer complaint, a serious accusation of fraud or incompetence or a team that has split into factions.

Conflict has a habit of drawing in resources, compromising performance and taking up valuable time, all of which have significant human and financial costs.

Organisations that invest in conflict prevention are characterised by having:

  • A robust set of policies and procedures to handle everything from whistleblowing through customer feedback to grievance resolution
  • Confidential helplines to capture and manage whistleblowing claims and to support employees who are affected by conflict
  • Trained individuals to help the victims of bullying and harassment to decide how they wish to handle their situations
  • An external or in-house team of trained mediators to deal with conflict quickly and skilfully
  • Trained investigators to carry out HR investigations in a timely and professional manner
  • Management development programmes that include the soft skills involved in defusing conflict, dealing with difficult people and achieving positive results from difficult conversations
  • Highly trained customer feedback professionals, who are skilled in dealing with complaints and empowered to improve the customer experience

I have always found CMP courses to be stimulating, challenging, at the cutting edge of current thinking and practice, while professionally delivered and supported. The ILM Professional Workplace Mediator programme, delivered to us in-house, was no exception and feedback from the participants fully endorses my comments.

Mediation Service Commissioner, Mediation and Conflict Resolution ManagerDevon County Council

We use CMP Resolutions to help us handle very complex, highly sensitive mediations and investigations.  We have been impressed by their speed of response, the professionalism of their people, not only their mediators and investigators but also their back office and logistics.  Most importantly the outcomes of their work have enabled us to resolve our issues successfully. Would we use them again? Without question. They are our “goto” solution.

Independent Investigation and Outsourced Mediation Commissioner, Director of Employee RelationsStates of Jersey

We used CMP to train Specialist Investigators to work on cases of bullying and harassment that had reached a formal stage; and to train workplace facilitators/mediators to help individuals discuss and potentially resolve their differences.  The trainers from CMP were highly professional and knowledegable. The participants felt that the respective courses were hard work but enjoyable. As an organisation we feel that their skills and knowledge has given us a bank of people who are skilled and very able to help the Trust in maintaining a work environment free of unwelcome behaviour.

Training Commissioner, Learning & Development Managera NHS Trust

We chose CMP Resolutions to deliver the ILM Endorsed Professional Workplace Investigator training as it was a unique product that was available. The delegate feedback has been extremely positive. The training has helped to improve the way in which Terms of Reference are set, ensuring that investigations are tightly described and therefore less likely to go off track, ultimately saving both time and money. Also a key element of the course was the skills practice on building rapport under pressure which has greatly improved our investigation practice. We would whole heartedly recommend CMP Resolutions.

ILM Endorsed Professional Workplace Investigator Training Buyer and Delegate, Director of HRIndependent Police Complaints Commission

We worked closely with CMP to ensure that the homelessness mediation training course was tailored to the specific needs of the organisations and we certainly got what we purchased. The training was superb and fully met the needs of each organisation and their specific delegates.

Mediation Service Lead and ILM Professional Workplace Mediator Delegate, ManagerLet's Build

CMP is a very good company to do business with and I would definitely recommend them.  I was very happy with the service offered, the investigation training and the follow-up support.  Our organisational objectives were clearly met by CMP’s involvement and I believe the training has provided the foundation for success.

Mediation Service Set-up, and Training Commissioner, Acting Head of HR,Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust

My test of a good training provider lies not with it’s “off the shelf” courses, but in how it applies its skills to the context of the customer. The tailored mediation training provided by CMP not only met my benchmark test, but exceeded it by some margin.

From commissioning to organising the training, then the delivery and follow up CMP have been exceptional as they are interested not only in the quality of what they deliver but in the quality of what we as a customer can then do.

Mediation Service Set-up Lead and ILM Professional Workplace Mediator Delegate, Senior HR ManagerHighlands and Islands Enterprise

CMP delivered intensive bespoke conflict management courses of varying levels to 200 managers, to achieve a significant boost to managers’ confidence and skills in managing transition during a time of change, and contributing significantly to achieving the organisational goal of preventing and managing bullying and harassment. From our initial discussions, it was evident that CMP were keen to listen to our needs and work with us to develop a course that satisfied our requirements. The successful partnership combined with local provision and high-quality trainers has developed into a key part of our overall strategy for management development of our staff.

Bespoke Conflict Management Training Buyer and Delegate, Senior Divisional Officer Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service

Feedback from attendees has been excellent. Well done CMP for providing excellent training, we will use CMP again. The Workplace Investigator training was a robust and in-depth training event, tailored very well to the unique policy application of the Scottish Government.  Delivered by a very knowledgeable trainer who was able to able to assess the needs of the group and who was confident and flexible enough to be able to concentrate on specific areas when required, whilst still maintaining deadlines etc.

ILM Professional Workplace Investigator Training Delegate, Diversity AdvisorScottish Governtment

I have no hesitation in recommending CMP, they offer excellent value for money and provide a service that is second to none! CMP provides a complete and professional service. From initial enquiry through administration and delivery, CMP covers all the bases. They are knowledgeable, professional and approachable and found flexible solutions to our training requirements. The feedback for the training has been outstanding. In addition to a collection of superlatives such as “fantastic” “inspiring” and “excellent” staff have stated that they came away with practical advice they can apply in real situations and, more to the point, have said it works!

Bespoke Conflict Management Training Buyer, Staff Development AdvisorUniversity of Gloucestershire

Workplace Conflict

This short video shows how a lack of “conversation” culture can lead to an escalation in conflicts.

Making dispute resolution work in your organisation

To change the culture of conflict at work needs more than employers setting up a mediation service: what is needed is an investment in building workplace conflict competence.

This paper introduces the changes you should consider making to reduce the wholly unnecessary cost of conflict to your organisation.

How to make DR work at work
A strategic approach to conflict management case study