When should mediation be considered?

Being proactive is key for mediation and many companies bring on a mediator as a last resort. If a mediator is brought in early, it can reduce EEOC/HRD complaints, legal actions, grievances, turnover, and lost productivity.

Here’s a list of scenarios to consider for mediation intervention:

  • When you notice communication issues
  • When you notice stress/awkwardness in interactions
  • When the work is being impacted
  • Prior to reaching a disciplinary level
  • When someone asks for it
  • When an employee initially makes a complaint, but it isn’t considered a violation of policy or law
A mediator separating arguing parties
Stop Workplace Conflict | Blog, Southwestern HR Consulting


A workplace mediator overseeing two employees shaking hands
Workplace Mediation Tips | Blog, Southwestern HR Consulting

What is Mediation?

Mediation is a process used to resolve concerns between more than one person. Mediation entails that the persons with the concern(s)/persons involved in the situation meet with a neutral third-party facilitator in an effort to explore their concern(s) and possible resolution.

The mediator is not a party to the mediation but functions as a neutral facilitator to assist the parties in their conversation using a variety of communication techniques. The parties involved in the situation being discussed in mediation are integral to the outcome of the mediation. While the mediator may compose an agreement for resolution on behalf of the parties, the parties are responsible for making decisions related to those outcomes.

Frequently Asked Mediation Questions

The time spent in mediation will well outweigh the cost of lost productivity due to employee relations issues and turnover. Estimates from state American companies lose $359 billion/year due to workplace conflict. Issues between even small groups can greatly affect the culture and morale in your organization in negative ways which trickle down to customer relations.

Mediation is a profession requiring initial and ongoing training in the skills of listening and communication. Using a variety of techniques, the mediator will attempt to move the parties to a place where they can fully explore the situation and possibly address the issue(s) through either a verbal or written agreement. Timing is a critical component of the mediation and mediators are trained on when in the conversation to use the proper communication techniques.

Because the parties are the ones who come up with the resolution (with facilitation by the mediator), the parties have buy-in to making it work.

Not all mediations necessitate additional sessions. However, there are times when the initial session may require a secondary session when the issues or possible resolutions could not be fully explored in the first session. Sometimes a follow-up session needs to be conducted at a later point when changes need to be made to the original agreement or there are additional issues between the parties.

An open hand holding a graphic of a brain with a sunset as the background
The Brain and Mediation | Blog, Southwestern HR Consulting

How can I find a mediation expert?

We thought you’d never ask. Our Mediation Expert, Magdalena Vigil-Tullar, has extensive experience in this department. Her credentials are unmatched and we welcome you to view her list of accomplishments below:

MBA, Robert O. Anderson School of Management (ASM)-University of New Mexico (UNM) 

BBA, ASM-UNM-Human Resources concentration


  • Senior Professional in HR (SPHR)
  • Society of HR Management-Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP)
  • Certified Labor Relations Professional (CLRP)

Completion of 40-hour mediation certification program through UNM in addition to trainings from Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.