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How mediation can help working relationships

10 Jun 2019

University mediator, Anne O’Neill explains the benefits of mediation and why it differs to other workplace resolutions

Mediation can be helpful when a working relationship has broken down. This could be down to a personality clash, a communication issue, or when an individual feels they’re being bullied or harassed. 

Anne O’Neill is a HR partner and a voluntary member of the mediation team. She has been volunteering as a mediator for many years – both here at the University and at other organisations –and in working with the mediation team, has successfully mediated a number of cases. 

“I cannot recommend mediation highly enough for getting things sorted in a quick and efficient way. Mediators create a safe environment where colleagues can discuss through issues and problems at work and find answers for themselves.” Anne says.  

How is mediation different from raising a grievance at work? 

Anne explains, “Mediation is a completely different process to raising a grievance. It’s informal and entirely voluntary. Formal procedures can take longer to carry out, and sometimes, they don’t give those in conflict the opportunity to sit down and simply speak about the issues. It’s a much speedier process which will typically only take a full day out of your diary to complete.”

“Colleagues are in complete control of what is finally agreed. This is different to the grievance process whereby someone else might make the final decision for you.”

“Don’t put off approaching the University mediators and letting the situation worsen. The earlier you can use mediation in a conflict the better.” 

Don't be a bystander, call it out and report it

If you or someone you know has experienced any form of harassment, discrimination or bullying you can report it anonymously or report it and get support from one of the University’s Harassment Support Advisors.  

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