There is growing evidence that makes the business case for mediation at work, that is helping to secure and protect budgets, and give credibility to a profession in its early years. And this is great news. But offering mediation for workplace disputes is simply the right thing to do.
Since the first mediation I conducted nearly 25 years ago I’ve known mediation in the workplace works. I’ve seen the positive outcomes, the relief on people’s faces as the fog of despondency and self-doubt lifts. We’ve asked parties immediately after their mediation, and three months later, and what people say is that they found mediation was really helpful and a positive experience, and they would recommend it to their colleagues. What they don’t say is how much money it saved their employer. And why would they?
Perhaps we have become obsessed with the business case for mediation. The recession has created an overwhelming focus on ‘the numbers’. Yes, mediation saves money, but mediation also saves people’s health and jobs. It’s time to remember that mediation is simply the right thing to do, for any mature, confident organisation that wants to do the right thing by its staff.