Finland has twice as many cases of workplace bullying as other European countries, a dissertation research paper presented by the University of Lapland claims. More emphasis is being placed on promoting mediation to reduce the level of harassment and bullying at work.
The dissertation was presented by Timo Pehrman, a former corporate training manager and currently Chairman of the The Finnish Forum for Mediation (SSF), a body that promotes the solution of conflicts with the help of an impartial outside party.
Pehrmaan says bullying in Finnish workplaces takes place mainly in female dominated professions in local and national government sectors such health care, social care and teaching.
”Although good rules are in place to prevent bullying at work, the situation has not improved,” says Pehrman.
In his dissertation, Pehrman has sampled the effectiveness of mediation in resolving cases of bullying in the workplace environment. His research has also examined what style of management is needed to implement such mediation.
”Open discussion and bringing the dispute out into the open was a good starter in order for both sides to understand the roots and reasons for the dispute. Conflicts can last for years if they are not nipped in the bud,” Pehrman notes.
Pehrman examined 14 workplaces where mediation was applied to various disputes. Data was collected by means of sound and video recordings, interviews both written and verbal and by observation. Some 153 persons took place in the mediation process in eight different companies with the help of 12 trained mediators.
No similar study has been carried out in Ireland as yet, however the majority of workplace cases that we deal with at Mediate Ireland involves some element of bullying. In Ireland we have extensive legislation, guidelines and work practices to protect employees and employers, in a lot of cases the normal process which can lead to resolution is time consuming, long, costly and highly stressful. Mediation offers a much better solution and we can certainly learn from our European neighbours in this respect.
If you have a client or know someone who may benefit from the Mediation Services that we provide please contact, Mark Small on 087-2268394 to discuss your requirements or organize a mediation.
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