As we come to the end of Mediation Awareness Week, I want to take this opportunity to share some of my thoughts around the role of mediation in shaping an inclusive culture.
Inclusion means acceptance of difference. Where there is high energy, and where people feel passionately about the issues they deal with in the workplace, disagreement will occur and this can sometimes escalate to conflict.
I would like to encourage us all to think about how we can manage difficult relationships in a positive and constructive manner. This will help embed a culture that can embrace difference and positively handle conflict.
Mediation is a crucial tool to do this.
What we are doing
The Civil Service is already making strides to embed a culture that can productively handle conflict – instigating processes and procedures focused on dispute resolution, encouraging a ‘speak-up' culture, and providing better education and signposting.
Speak Up! Week in September was a great success, with a number of events and communications that focus on how we can ensure we are all confident to speak up and know where to go for support or to report our concerns.
Mediation is a highly effective option for those who are in disagreement or dispute. Not only does it resolve conflict at the most informal and positive level, it can also be transformative for those involved and the organisation around them, building resilience and longevity in relationships.
Mediation in the Civil Service
I’m proud to say that the Civil Service is the largest organisation providing internal workplace mediation in the UK, through the Civil Service Mediation Service (CSMS), with over 250 trained mediators. This is a testament to the ongoing efforts of our mediation community, who continuously succeed in embedding a first-class response to disputes in our organisation.
I’m pleased that Sarah Albon, CEO of the Health and Safety Executive, has taken on the role of Civil Service Mediation Champion. Her commitment to mediation and building its profile across our business will support the mediation community to continue to grow. [Read Sarah’s blog post on the value of mediation and how she sees her role.]
I hope Mediation Awareness Week has given you the opportunity to find out more about the benefits of mediation. I would encourage you to reflect on how you can play a part in enhancing, developing and deploying this innovative and progressive approach.
If you would like to find out more about mediation, for example, how to access mediation support, become a trained mediator or to find out the name of your organisation’s mediation SPoC (single point of contact), please search your departmental intranet for ‘mediation’.