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From argument to engagement
IntroductionUnresolved workplace disputes are one of the biggest barriers to employee engagement. Conflicts and disputes reduce goodwill, drain resources, take up valuable time and cost eye-watering sums of money. Marks and Spencer, BT and Topshop have all incorporated mediation into their organisations with remarkable results.
Mediation is a process of dispute resolution in which a neutral third party (the mediator) helps two or more parties find a mutually acceptable solution. Unlike traditional dispute resolution procedures – mediation is non-adversarial, it is confidential and it works.
The power of mediation, argues Carole Russell, head of employee relations at BT Retail, is in offering people alternatives to formal processes. Putting an end to our formal grievance culture was the real selling point for our business. Since we introduced a mediation scheme at BT, explains Russell, our internal mediators have resolved over 500 cases and the business has benefited from savings in excess of £1m.
The BT experience is compelling and the message is spreading. At Marks and Spencer, Philip Edwards, employee relations manager, is completely behind this new approach. We use mediation as an early, informal resolution for issues across the whole business of 75,000 employees.
The cost of conflictPaul Forrest, group employee relations manager for the retail giant Arcadia Group is a TCM accredited mediator and a passionate advocate of this new method, saying it has underpinned their commitments to employee engagement and wellbeing.
The costs of conflict run to an estimated annual £33 billion to UK business according to the Confederation of British Industry, taking up 20 per cent of leadership-time and resulting in 370 million days lost. However, the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD) finds almost 60 per cent of companies using mediation see a significant reduction in formal grievances and a reduction of employment tribunal claims by almost 50 per cent. A typical mediation costs approximately £1500 with over 90 per cent of cases achieving a successful outcome. Mediation works, says BT’s Carole Russell – everyone wins.
Notes to Editors
- TCM is a leading provider of workplace, employment, business and consumer mediation services. They work with organisations across the UK, Europe, Asia and the Middle East to develop constructive, effective and sustainable remedies for conflicts and disputes.
- The company trains over 1000 individuals in the art of mediation each year. This includes HR professionals, business leaders and other employees who are committed to improving the way that they resolve workplace and business disputes.
- TCM delivers mediation services to an unrivalled list of some of the world’s leading brands, including Lloyds Banking Group, BT, The Arcadia Group, Marks & Spencer, Vodafone, HSBC and The Co-operative.
- David Liddle, CEO of the TCM Group, regularly comments on mediation, dispute resolution and labour relations issues in the media including Sky News, BBC News 24, Daybreak, BBC Radio and various trade press.
- TCM has created and sponsors the first UK award for Innovation in Dispute Resolution in conjunction with Personnel Today.
- For press and media enquiries, please contact Panos Papakostis on 020 7404 3195 or E-mail: email@example.com