A leading Swansea HR expert has trained to become a professional, workplace mediation specialist with the aim of supporting local organisations who may be facing a breakdown in their business relationships.
Shakira Joyner, Managing Director of independent HR consultancy, HCHR, has undertaken an intensive mediation course with a market leading training organisation, having identified a gap in the market for this service in South West Wales.
The principle aim of workplace mediation is to restore and maintain a business or employment relationship by enabling both parties to work together to move forward rather than focus on what has been right or wrong in the past. This process, which is a viable and less costly alternative to a disciplinary or grievance procedure is included within the ACAS code of conduct.
Says Shakira, “When it comes to a breakdown in a business relationship, mediation is a completely different approach to managing issues in the workplace. This is particularly important if the conflict is between directors, for example, or a business owner and a senior employee.
“There are huge benefits to businesses who embrace the workplace mediation process which is wholly results focused. Unlike a traditional disciplinary or grievance procedure, which can be costly in terms of both time and money, mediation actually delivers a solution to an issue without finger pointing or getting bogged down in who is right or who is wrong.”
The company is offering businesses across the region this workplace mediation service as part of an integrated HR package or as a stand alone option on a need by need basis. It can be beneficial to businesses of all sizes, whether they have their own in-house HR team or not. In particular, it is an affordable and practical option for small businesses in who can ill afford a lengthy or unsatisfactory grievance or disciplinary procedure.
Adds Shakira, “HCHR is one of only a small number of organisations in this area who can offer professional workplace mediation as a specialist service. I undertook a very demanding training course to be able to qualify to deliver mediation to local businesses. The course was important as it takes a certain skill and objectivity to be able to mediate effectively in a workplace, which is a completely different skill from more traditional HR services most of us are comfortable with.
“Impartiality together with confidentiality is key in terms of acheiving a resolution that satisfies both parties. And unlike a grievance process, which can often seem like ‘bullying’, the focus is on facilitating communication between the parties in dispute, enabling them to develop a mutually acceptable agreement to improve their future working relationship.”