The CIPD has expressed its concern that mediation between organisations and their employees to resolve disputes will have to take place if businesses want to avoid the cost of tribunals. On average, the CIPD’s research found that employment tribunal claims cost companies £20,000 per year, with large companies that hire over 10,000 staff paying £210,000 per year.
But firms that use mediation have been seen to experience fewer tribunals; only 3% experienced any. In spite of this noteworthy discovery and the potential cost savings that could be achieved then from mediation, the research found that almost 60% of the companies in the survey had never used mediation during workplace conflict.
It was also brought to light that 80% of the companies that did use mediation claimed that it helped improve relationships between employees, while 71% said that it reduced the stress of formal disciplinary or grievance procedures. 50% also stated that it helped avoid the cost of tribunals.
In response to the survey, many have said that mediation and informal discussions are the most effective methods for resolving conflicts. They have further announced that such approaches aid disputing parties in identifying the root of their disagreement and working out what needs to be done to resolve it and move forward. Any potential areas of compromise can also be identified via this method.
The conclusion that has been made from all of this is that employers should invest in conflict managing training to enable their managers to use their skills informally to prevent the escalation of disputes.