David Liddle provides 10 simple steps to help you embed mediation into your trust.

  1. Choose a mediation partner who can work with you to embed mediation into your trust. It is not an activity that can be taken lightly and having an expert partner working with you will help you to avoid many of the common pitfalls.
  2. Promote mediation in your values statement and refer to it in your recruitment documents. Mediation can assist you to become an employer of choice and it supports IIP and other employee engagement and well-being activities.
  3. Recruit, select and train a team of internal mediators to an accredited standard such as the OCN accredited National Certificate in Workplace Mediation.
  4. Make specific mentions of mediation in your employment contracts, induction programmes, staff handbooks and HR policies.
  5. Rename your grievance policy to a ‘grievance resolution policy’. This is a simple change and it puts resolution literally at the centre of your policy. Make sure that mediation features highly in your grievance, dignity at work and other relevant policies.
  6. Engage fully with your union and staff side representatives to ensure that they support mediation and feel ownership of this new approach. They will be more supportive of mediation with their members as a result.
  7. Train and coach your managers to be peacemakers in their teams. Managers and leaders are the best mediators you have and they are often at the front line of conflict.
  8. Secure senior management buy-in to mediation - a signature and foreword in your mediation leaflet from your chief executive and chair can add real credibility to your approach.
  9. Ensure that internal investigators, disciplinary panels and appeals panels are aware of mediation and are authorised to refer cases to mediation.
  10. Celebrate your new internal mediation scheme and let everyone know that this is the direction that your business is travelling in. The more people who share your vision and come on board, the more sustainable and credible your new approach will be.

David Liddle is founder and chief executive of the TCM Group and president of the Professional Mediators’ Association

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