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Swansea Human Resources Experts Set Up to Support Mediation for Local Businesses


Swansea, UK -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/13/2014 -- Two leading Swansea HR experts have trained to become professional, workplace mediation specialists with the aim of supporting local organisations who may be facing a breakdown in their business relationships.

Heather Cooper and Shakira Joyner, Directors of hchr, have 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, will, from April 2014, be included within the ACAS code of conduct.

Says Heather Cooper, “ 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 Joyner, “We are one of only a small number of organisations in this area who can offer professional workplace mediation as a specialist service. Both Heather and I undertook a very demanding training course to be able to qualify to deliver mediation to local businesses. The course was important to us 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.”
8 January 2013
For more information, call Heather Cooper or Shakira Joyner on 01792 234761; for press enquiries call Jackie Balboni at Swansea Creatives on 01792 324321 or 07960 182525.

The 2008 CIPD survey on workplace mediation showed that three-quarters of respondents considered mediation to be the most effective approach to resolving conflict in the workplace.

In the GFK NOP telephone survey of managers in 500 SMEs, of those that had used mediation, 99% agreed that it was a good tool for resolving workplace disputes. The CIPD 2007 Managing Conflict at Work report provided some evidence that organisations providing mediation training for managers receive fewer employment tribunal claims.

Research commissioned by Acas found that:

The introduction of in-house mediation can have a transformative effect on workplace relations and underpin a new (and more informal) approach in the way that conflict is managed (Saundry et al 2011).

New skills acquired by mediators influenced their everyday practice and gave them new ways of managing conflict in a wide range of settings (Saundry and Wibberley 2012).

About Hchr
Hchr is specialist HR and recruitment agency based in Swansea South Wales. The company offers a range of proactive and contractual HR support to employers across a range of services including health and safety, policy development, workplace mediation, dealing with disputes, TUPE and all matters relating to personnel.

Pictured from left to right, hchr directors and workplace mediation experts, Heather Cooper and Shakira Joyner.