Is there a dispute developing at your workplace that threatens to get out of hand? Have you got team members who just don’t seem to be able to get along. Are you expecting a grievance to be submitted at any moment from one employee disgruntled about the behaviour of a colleague?
At Elite Coaching we have qualified and experienced mediators who are ready to engage with both sides in disputes at work to try to find a workable and satisfactory solution without resorting to formal action.
Many organisations have come to the conclusion that, in a growing number of instances, formal disciplinary and grievance procedures are blunt instruments to use in trying to improve performance and relationships at work, and that some form of mediation may often be a more constructive approach. You may have come to the same conclusion, but you may not have trained mediators in your organisation to assist you in resolving internal disputes. Or you may see the benefit of engaging an external independent mediator to undertake the work. Elite Coaching has formally trained and experienced mediators available to help you find a better way of resolving workplace disputes.
The Chair and Chief Executive of a major homeless charity in the Midlands came from very different traditions in their approach to both fundraising and operations, and it was beginning to have a detrimental effect on the effectiveness of the charity’s work. The board of trustees proposed a programme of mediation, which both parties agreed to. I met with both parties on two occasions on their own, in order to understand their position, and then to introduce the position of the other party. They were never going to be the best of friends, but they started to understand the skills and experience that the other brought to the organisation. They agreed to formalise their relationship and take on responsibility for specific areas of work, so that there was always a single point of responsibility. In this case the mediation also included an exit plan for the Chair over a six-month period.
I undertook an investigation into a grievance by a senior nurse in a major teaching hospital against her divisional director for bullying, which the director vehemently denied. The recommendation in my report was for an apology to the nurse, and a programme of mediation. Both parties agreed to the recommendation and asked that I be the mediator, as I had become closely acquitted with the details of the case during the investigation. After individual meetings, we had to have two sessions together as the director, in spite of agreeing to apologise, continued to have difficulty in coming to terms with the effect of his behaviour. We finally came to an agreement that allowed both parties to work together successfully with their professional pride intact.
I was brought into a first school where a new senior leadership team was failing to persuade the long-standing unqualified nursery lead to even consider changing the way she worked in order to be in line with up-to-date learning practices and the requirements of OFSTED. The head teacher really wanted to avoid going down the performance management or capability route as the nursery lead was experienced and well liked. I met with the nursery lead on three occasions initially, in order to understand her opposition to the changes. I discovered that she felt undervalued, but also intimidated and lacking in confidence about her ability to absorb the new regime, so the mediation focused on ensuring that she was involved in every change, slowing down the changes to a pace she could handle, and sourcing some appropriate professional development.
Last year I was brought in to lead the establishment of a new Finance & Accounts function for a leading global restaurant business for UK and Ireland at its West Midlands base following the decision by the global company to return the function to the UK from the sub-continent. The programme entailed the organisational design of the new function, and the re-engagement or recruitment and onboarding of 67 finance professionals over a two-month period.
The Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) became the successor to the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) in September 2014. The PCC had survived without professional employment guidance for some years, so the new Chief Executive of IPSO invited me into the organisation in October 2014 to review the roles and the structure of the organisation in the light of some significant changes to its remit. I reviewed the organisational structure, rewards and benefits, and employment policies and procedures and presented the Board with a number of options. Having agreed a course of action, I prepared all the paperwork, which included:- a staff handbook, which included a specific redundancy policy and processes, new job descriptions, recruitment arrangements for twelve new positions; a new salary structure, and a change timetable with written briefs for the Chair and Chief Executive. I then led the change programme, which included a restructure leading to redundancies and recruitment.