The management of mediation in companies

Mediació empresa

Javier Wilhelm Wainzstein
Director of the Master in Professional Mediation


In recent months, and as a result of the reform that will bring about the law of procedural efficiency measures of the public service of Justice, mediation and the appropriate forms of conflict management are once again on the political agenda. Organizations and companies are not immune to this legislative change, but on the contrary, they can see legitimized actions and different ways of resolving disputes.

Law 5/2012 on mediation in the civil and commercial sphere has already opened the range of implementation, but if this new legislative initiative becomes public policy, the scope and benefits will be more evident and known.

Litigation entails an economic cost for those involved that is 81% more than mediation

According to studies by the European Parliament and the Arbitration Court of Madrid, the difference in time for resolving a commercial conflict is 90% longer in court than in a mediation process, going from 17 months on average in court judicial to 1.6 months in mediation; and in terms of average cost, litigation involves an economic cost 81% more than mediation for those involved; this without counting the emotional costs for the people involved and the repercussion of the conflict on production, on the work environment, the image of the organization, both towards workers, customers and suppliers, and how the network of internal relations of an organization is resentful when a conflict becomes public.

Promoting the culture of mediation in the commercial field translates into 4 lines of action:

  1. Work Place Mediation: The resolution of conflicts from management translates into enhancing and empowering the members of a company or organization in improving their personal and relational resources, and the consequences positive of it in their day to day. The WPM, a strategy that was born in Great Britain about 20 years ago, promotes management and resolution of disputes between workers, between management personnel, improvements in the work environment, preventing the escalation of conflict and its consequences on productivity.
    It is a series of actions in relation to the prevention of labor unrest, lack of productivity due to said work environment, permanent staff turnover, non-compliance and failures in its processes, as effects of an unresolved and entrenched situation. in the company. Work place mediation is the most appropriate strategy to implement in organizations and companies.
  2. Commercial disputes: It implies opening an assisted negotiation table in which work is done to resolve disputes in a confidential and secure manner in which non-resolution entails a daily loss of money, an increase in risk of capital, damage to the image of the organization and deterioration of CSR. Being able to establish clauses of submission to mediation in contracts, we could avoid a collapse in the judicial system, optimize public resources, shorten resolution periods and work on agreements tailored to the parties involved. A few years ago, the Bilbao Chamber of Commerce already identified that commercial mediation is effective in relation to issues related to unfair competition, industrial property, intellectual property, actions related to advertising, challenging corporate agreements, issues of responsibility of administrators, of boards of administration, in liquidations of commercial companies, issues related to transport, maritime law; To which we would add issues of consumption, debts and defaults, conflicts between tenants and landlords, conflicts between insurers and claimants, etc.
  3. Mergers and acquisitions: When several organizations have to unite, one of the essential elements to work on is the compatibility of the culture of each of them; which, if carried out properly (taking into account above all the people involved) will have a greater guarantee of success and will reduce the time of accommodation in the face of a change situation. Mediation and decision circles provide the appropriate methodology to be able to carry out these movements in the best way and accompany organizations and the people who inhabit them in the process of change. The process of introducing a change involves fighting against resistance, which always appears in the form of fear and anxiety, even sometimes the change is perceived as catastrophic (Bion)
  4. Relational negotiation: providing assisted negotiation tools and procedures, building trust and security, working on disputes between partners, between people responsible for areas, labor hiring and/or dismissals, collective bargaining agreements, contracts with other companies, between company and suppliers or within work teams, always emphasizing collaborative negotiation and effective communication where the emotional factor plays in favor of achieving it.

Commercial mediation helps to optimize resources, time, money and energy.

In summary, commercial mediation helps to optimize resources, time, money and energy. Take care of the image of the organizations and of the people who live in them. The transaction mediation professionals help to evaluate and quantify the cases so that those involved know the cost involved in its solution in the different scenarios, the risks that are run depending on how the problem is treated or ignored, and the possibilities of profits and taking care of business relationships with a vision of the future at a time like the present, with such a fluctuating and uncertain market.

“Don't be afraid of changes, be afraid of standing still” (Chinese proverb)

ODS Javier Wilhelm ENG