Direction Nov 2019-95 (1)Direction Nov 2019-95 (1)


A number of sensitive issues had arisen within a Scottish academic organisation, following a change of management and, subsequently, the introduction of a different working structure. Professional support in the form of mediation was required within the small team of staff, whose first language was not English, but there was friction, resistance,  some elements of prejudice and a fear of redundancy. The staff were not in harmony and felt their voices were not being heard. Resignations or claims to an employment tribunal loomed.


Neutral support in the form of impartial, structured mediation was the solution to this conflict and direction was brought in to the organisation to manage this process. Crucially, participation was voluntary and support was instigated by the HR department and an independent interpreter assisted the mediation sessions, held in a neutral meeting place.


Differences were resolved and compromises made. Conflict was diffused leading to better outcomes for everyone involved. No-one resigned and there were no redundancies, which was deemed a very positive outcome. The culture within the organisation benefited as the scenario was dealt with sensitively and responsibly through a constructive approach, offering other employees a level of reassurance and confidence.

The key to this success was using a trained workplace mediator who did not take sides and was focused on finding a solution for as many of those involved as possible. Improved communications and team work, with everyone having a level of control, input and the ability to be heard, was also vital. Employees had a safe, private space in which to move forward positively and the high costs of, for example, employment tribunal claims, were avoided. direction’s aim of making workplace mediation a place of safety, with short and long-term goals for all involved, including the organisation, was achieved.


“direction was instrumental in the process of change when we used their workplace mediation services.

Our situation was handled sensitively and expertly. Each individual, our team and the business benefited hugely. Thank you so much as it could’ve cost the business so much more in time, money and finance” – Colleges Scotland