Training workplace mediators alone won’t give you access to the full benefits of mediation.
To really get mediation at work embedded in your organisation, you need to do more. You need a communications plan and someone to lead on it. So plan a series of webinars, or demonstrations; posters about the service with easy confidential contact details; put notices in with payslips.
Most people have assumptions (usually incorrect!) about what mediation is. They certainly won’t be aware of why you’ve set your service up and how to access it, unless you tell them. So run awareness raising sessions for staff, union-reps, management – and make sure your EAP or counsellors are on board.
Ensure as a priority that your HR team understand and have bought into the benefits of mediation. This includes when it’s appropriate, and have been given the skills to encourage parties to say yes to mediation.
Work with managers, because if you want to realise the culture-changing benefits, then you’ll need to give managers the mediation mind-set: short courses to help them see that mediation is an add-on to good management practices, and to enable them to take a mediation-style approach to their staff.