Mediation - research and case studies

In 2017 SW Councils contributed to a research report produced by the South East Employers (SEE). SEE  engaged with representatives of more than twenty local authorities conducting a programme of research and in-depth interviews.

In the report and the accompanying suite of case studies and supplementary papers presented below, SEE explore the stories of those organisations leading the way with improved management of conflict in the workplace.  They look at what they have achieved, and how. The goal is to raise the profile of workplace mediation as a necessary and beneficial practice, drive its consideration as a strategic priority and celebrate the progress that has been made, whilst helping to identify and share best practice for the benefit of prospective adopters and practitioners.

The key findings are presented in the report, Best practice in action: Building resilience in local government through better conflict management.

SEE  expected a series of textbook conversations, but instead heard a rich and diverse range of experiences.

They also had the opportunity to hear many mediation stories – first and second hand.  Some were straightforward.  Some were inspirational journeys of dissonance and resolution.

The implementation stories themselves were no less compelling, so although SEE originally set out only to publish a single report, they developed an accompanying suite of case studies looking more closely at how specific local authorities are delivering value from workplace mediation.

At the same time SEE encountered powerful themes they wanted to explore whilst respecting highly sensitive details.  These became two supplementary papers, looking at the value of mediation in resolving conflict between councillors and officers, and issues arising from employee personal problems.

Jennifer McNeill, Regional Director of South East Employers, highlighted South West Councils, saying: “They have contributed a wealth of knowledge and insight to this study, drawing on an unrivalled combination of expertise, experience and local knowledge.  Not only in mediation, but across the broad spectrum of people management and human resources.  This, combined with their total alignment to the local government agenda, makes them leading regional authorities on workplace mediation for public sector employers and the go to people for anyone taking their first or next step with workplace mediation.”

Update provided by Oliver Blackwell, Associate Consultant, South East Employers, for South West Councils.