Because HR is about people, no two situations are ever exactly the same. It is therefore about understanding the overall objective and working towards this using the most appropriate ‘tools’ and strategies.

Mediation is one such tool. Recently I worked with a client who had two employees that were at loggerheads. Their relationship had deteriorated to the point where it was impacting on the business and other people in the business. The dilemma for the client was that they did NOT want to lose either employee – but could not allow the situation to continue.

In this situation mediation was the chosen approach. And while it may not always be successful, in this particular case mediation resolved the conflict and both employees can now work together productively. They may never be best friends, but the process of mediation removed many of the assumptions each was making about the other, allowed for clear and honest communication and moved them to a better understanding.

The commercial impact … the company retained two good employees (so no need to recruit and train and lose all that experience); and productivity has improved. For the individuals, no one lost their job and they both now have a more positive (and conflict free) environment to work in.

Mediation may be a ‘soft’ skill, but it can make sound commercial sense in certain situations.

Angela Dansey.

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If you feel that you need guidance or advice on this matter, please call Practical HR on 01702 216573 or email Angela on the above.