How do rewards and punishments work in workplace mediation?

Mediation is a wonderful tool you can use in your business in a variety of ways. It does not always have to be formal.  You can use mediation tactics when dealing with general issues that come up throughout the workday. It can even become a tool that helps prevent small problems from escalating.

If you want to put it to use on a regular basis for problem-solving, you may consider using rewards and punishments. Harvard explains these two approaches can have significant benefits in assisting you with mediating issues in the workplace.


The prevailing idea is that punishment is not an effective way to work through problems. However, when using it in a mediation setting, it can be positive and have a good result.

In this situation, punishment is subtle. You will not use it to impose threats on your employees. Instead, you use it as a way to coerce them to do something.

For example, if you have two employees who cannot get alone, you may propose cutting their work hours so they no longer have to work together. They will probably not want to lose hours, so you can then move into mediating a solution that allows them to coexist and do their jobs.


Rewards are seen in a positive light, but they can become negative if you use them incorrectly. When it comes to using them in mediation, you do not want to use them as a way to bribe people to do something.

You should only reward actions that show a willingness to cooperate and compromise. For example, if there is a disagreement between two employees over who gets to help a client and one of the employees concedes to the other, you could then offer that employee some type of reward for his or her actions.

Punishments and rewards have a place in your informal meditation tactics in the workplace, but it is important to use them properly to get positive results.

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