A packed Civil Mediation Council (CMC) workplace mediation conference held in the Old Library of Lloyd’s of London on 1 February enjoyed an interactive session from Chair in Management at SUMS, Prof Paul Latreille.
His focus on workplace conflict gathered on-the-spot data from the audience via polling technology, revealing that nearly three-quarters (71%) of the senior-level delegates were from the private sector, suggesting a growing interest in mediation there. The demand for practical help was equally clear – 78% had been aware of or experienced workplace conflict over the previous year, and the top three costs of workplace conflict identified by the poll were: the damaging impact on management time; reduced engagement and performance among parties in conflict; and the costs of absenteeism.
Some of Paul’s written reports produced for Acas, including a recent study of a conflict resolution system in an NHS Trust (see below), were also referenced by their chairman Sir Brendan Barber.
The conference brought together practitioners from a range of organisations including speakers from the BBC, Sony, the NHS and Tesco, and explored an array of areas in workplace mediation and conflict. Caroline Sheridan, Chair of the CMC Workplace and Employment Group, said: “Mediation is enjoying considerable momentum as a core business process for employee engagement and conflict resolution. We have focused on the arguments and strategies to fuel the momentum and to develop confidence in anticipating and addressing the most likely challenges.”
Paul continued: “It was a great privilege to address delegates at this event. By incorporating live data, my session benefited from current information and a highly engaged audience – we were able to identify and explore some of the greatest challenges we face in the workplace conflict arena, on the spot.”
Paul has since been invited to speak at a series of similar CMC regional events later in the year, with the provisional schedule including Bristol in June, Birmingham in October and the North East.
Read Paul’s reports on workplace conflict and mediation by clicking on the links below:
- Analysis of the nature, extent and impact of grievance and disciplinary procedures workplace mediation using WERS2011
- Thematic review of workplace mediation
- Towards a system of conflict management? An evaluation of the impact of workplace mediation at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust