What is Workplace Mediation?

What is Workplace Mediation?

How Mediation Is Useful In ResolvingWorkplace Dispute Matters

Author: Priya Goel


Mediation is a manner of resolving a conflict using an impartial person to help team members resolve their differences. The aim is to reduce workplace tensions before they escalate into something more damaging. Conflict can occur in any employment relationship and is best handled early in the source. 

If left unchecked, it can be left astray & fester and escalate, which can lead to grievance and discipline procedures or employment tribunals i.e.; litigation. It differs from disciplinary and grievance procedures by offering a less formal and flexible approach. In other words, Workplace mediation is actually a meeting between two or more conflicting parties, with the objective of the meeting to lead discussions to find a resolution. 

Workplace mediation is a voluntary process that requires to have both sides to agree to participate and to work towards a solution to the problem.

The purpose of mediation is to allow all parties to speak with confidence in a safe and secure environment and to promote mutual understanding of how to improve working relationships. 

It focuses on trying to address the root causes of conflict and emphasizes a win-win situation, supporting both sides of the conflict to find acceptable solutions to each side. Therefore, it promotes better and more positive results in the workplace rather than conflicting legal procedures. 

This is not a process designed to determine facts and to determine findings on exactly what happened and make a decision on who is right & who is wrong. Sometimes the conflicting parties in a workplace mediation want someone to be declared right and the other person to be declared wrong. 

If any of the conflicting parties are looking for a procedure that clears their name and declares the other person as wrong or at fault, then instead of workplace mediation a workplace investigation should be conducted.


5 common types of workplace disputes are -

1. Leadership Dispute:

Leaders are often people who intervene in workplace conflicts between employees. But what if the leaders themselves are the central cause of such drama? In fact, leadership conflicts are listed as one of the most common and popular types of workplace conflicts.

Everyone has a different leadership style, and everybody responds differently to those leadership styles. This can lead to conflicts between managers of different teams, or conflicts between leaders and team members. Leaders should be able to adjust and connect with their employees no matter their leadership preferences.

2. Creative Dispute

While working in groups, disputes regarding creativity and ideas are much more likely to happen. Employees may come up with different ideas and have different reactions to those ideas, which can lead to conflicts and competition. Employees need to recognize the opinions of others, voice theirs, and then gather the best pieces to find the best solution.

Although dealing with completely different and contradictory ideas is difficult especially when it contradicts yours, it can give the best solutions for your business.

3. Work Style Dispute

Employees can argue when they do not share similarities in the way they work. We have different ways to do things, and this will lead to conflicts.

Many people choose to work on their own and based on their own speed, knowledge, and skills. Others enjoy working in groups, giving their opinions, and collaborating with their colleagues. Some wait until the deadline to finish their work, while others submit their projects before the deadline.

4. Personality Dispute

It’s true that people are different from one another. We may come across a person whose personality clashes with us, and disputes are much more likely to happen.

Differences in viewpoints and behaviors, based on culture, religion, or ethnic background, will also lead to differences in the way we see and behave toward other people.

5. Task-based Dispute

These disagreements arise in situations when people in an interdependent project network have to coordinate their projects so that everyone can effectively get their part done. For instance, an accountant needs all the numbers to do their job. If an employee regularly delays their reports, it affects the accountant’s ability to complete up and meet the deadlines. The solution? Delegate tasks effectively.



1. The mediators meet with each party separately in caucus sessions.

2. Have a neutral discussion with each Person, individually

3. Explore the Issues Together

4. Negotiate and Compromise

5. Create a Written Agreement

6. Get Some Closure


Benefits & outcomes of workplace mediation

Legal disputes are time-consuming and costly, and can damage team relationships. It may lead to high levels of stress for everyone involved, as well as lowers morale and increased absenteeism and staff turnover. Studies has shown that most people prefer mediation rather than formal litigation practices, and there is evidence to suggest that people who opt for mediation are likely to be more satisfied with the outcome.

Another important benefit of using mediation is that it enables managers to respond more quickly to dispute. Its secretive nature encourages people to be open and honest, allowing them to get to the heart of the matter. This can improve their chances of maintaining productive relationships and eliminating all budding problems permanently.