Workplace mediation. Torc Consulting was contacted by the HR Director of a large private sector company to provide mediation services with a view to developing a solution to a dispute involving a manager and staff member over allegations of bullying.
The staff member had complained that he felt he was being continually harassed by the manager and was unfairly treated compared to other members of staff who also reported to the manager. The manager did not see any basis for the allegations and felt that harassment was being used as an excuse for poor performance on the part of the staff member.
As mediation is an early option in the company’s harassment policy, both parties to the conflict were agreeable to participating in mediation and a date was confirmed.
After a joint session where the process was introduced to both parties and pre mediation agreements signed, the mediator met each party individually to listen to their story and perspectives.
During the subsequent joint meeting both parties were provided with the opportunity to explain their understanding of the situation and how it had affected them. As it became clear that both were keen to resolve the dispute and get the working relationship back to an even keel, the mediator moved the process on to problem solving, working with the participants to identify behaviours that would support this.
At the end of the session, with both parties agreed on a way forward, the mediator drafted an agreement which was signed off.
Both parties have a more positive basis for working and in a follow up meeting reported that the greater openness resulted in differences and expectations being resolved and managed quickly. Feedback from the HR Director supported this change.