Workplace Mediation FAQS
Q: When is the Best Time to Mediate?
A: The right time to mediate is when a party identifies a breakdown in communication, cooperation and/or understanding which is affecting their ability to carry out their role within the workplace. Timing can be very important.
If workplace mediation is offered once the initial difficulties have been identified, this may make it easier for the parties to discuss their difficulties.
Often workplace mediation is requested when problems in the workplace have been left unaddressed, matters may have escalated to the stage when an investigation has been undertaken, leading possible to a disciplinary outcome or at the very least a very uncomfortable working environment for the parties involved and those around them.
In the case of the former, workplace mediation is a chance to look at the issues and find different ways of resolving these to enable parties to work together in a harmonious and effective manner. Often strategies are adopted to avoiding problems occurring again and/or escalating.
In the case of the latter, where there has been a formal complaint, investigated (either within the organisation or externally) and determined, workplace mediation is an opportunity to help restructure, rebuild and refocus the parties on their specific roles and reform appropriate boundaries, enabling them to work within their organisation and perform their role alongside their fellow co-workers.
Q: Who Pays for the Workplace mediation?
A: Workplace mediation is funded by the employer.
Q: Who can request workplace mediation
A: Any employee, Manager or employer can request workplace mediation.
Q: Where Does the Workplace mediation Take Place?
A: Depending on specific circumstances, it is possible for Workplace mediation to take place either at the place of work, provided suitable arrangements can be made after discussion by the Mediator with each party and the employer.
Alternatively workplace mediation can be conducted “off-site”.
We have a number of workplace mediation and meeting rooms which are designed to enable parties to meet for either a half or full day within our offices. We have the facilities to cater for both face-to-face and shuttle (separate rooms) meetings.
Q: How Does the Workplace mediation Process Start?
A: Prior to any workplace mediation taking place the Mediator will have to undertake an Assessment.
The Assessment is to deal with two issues:
- Each participant’s willingness to engage in a workplace mediation Process.
As workplace mediation is a voluntary process, it is important that both parties are willing to engage in the Workplace mediation or else the process cannot proceed.
- Assess the suitability of the parties and also the subject matter for the workplace mediation Process.
The Mediator will determine themselves whether they feel the workplace mediation process is suitable, whether the parties are willing and the appropriateness and timing of any meetings. There are certain circumstances when a Mediator may decide that workplace mediation is not suitable. They are not required to disclose the reason for their decision they will however inform the parties of their decision and suggest other ways in which the matter can be resolved, where appropriate.
Q: How Long Does the Workplace mediation Process Take?
A: The workplace mediation process usually takes either a half or a full day depending on the issues raised by the participants or, it may depend on the number of parties taking part in the workplace mediation Process meetings.
Before a workplace mediation Session takes place each participant is asked to sign an Agreement to Mediate. This agreement confirms each parties understanding of the workplace mediation process and their agreement to its principle and ground rules. This is an agreement in good faith.
Please note that the workplace mediation process is private and confidential.
The Mediator will provide a copy of the Agreement to Mediate to each participant prior to the process commencing.
Feedback to Employers
Once the workplace mediation has concluded the Mediator will make a brief statement (verbal or written) to the referrer or purchaser of the workplace mediation Services. This will be a process statement. It will not include any contents or anything that was said in any part of the workplace mediation Process. The statement will include a list of names of those attending, the dates of meetings and whether a resolution was reached or not. It will note whether the situation was resolved or unresolved. The Mediator or participants are not called as a witness or give evidence or make representations in other formal, administrative, arbitral, or judicial procedures.
Q: How Workplace mediation Sessions Benefit You?
A: The Individual Session
This is a chance to talk in private, in confidence. To perhaps raise difficult issues or talk about troubling concerns. This is an opportunity to clear the air and get things off your chest. This often helps people get a better perspective on their situation. You will be able to talk about what you want to achieve and, how to go about that. We will not advise you, nor will we discourage you from any course of action. We will help you think through the pros and cons of any choices you have in this situation and, whether they satisfy your interests and needs. We will help you think clearly; this is a chance to make decisions with someone that has no bias or stake in the outcome.
The Workplace mediation Session
This is a structured process where you have a chance to be heard and listened to by others. It is also a chance to listen and understand the person you have difficulty with.
Workplace mediation gives you the opportunity to say what you want in an amicable fashion in order for the other person to understand how you are feeling and for them to hear what is important to you and vice versa. This involves speaking openly, honestly and directly with feeling. The opportunity here is also to try and understand what is important to the other person and why that might be so. This involves being willing to hear someone out, holding on to your own reactions and suspending your judgements. This means listening carefully. At best this means trying to put yourself in the other person’s shoes and seeing it from their side. We will ask them to do this for you. We would be asking you all to do this for the other.
Once each person feels they have said all they need to say and that is understood by the other then, we can begin to talk about how to move forward. Here, we will help you work together to try and find different ways of moving forward. Importantly this will mean trying to think differently and create new and different ideas to help you all move forward.
Towards the end of the workplace mediation Session, we will aim to build on any progress and encourage you to recognise what has been of value for yourselves and each other.
Finally we will help you to practically test any outcome or resolution, checking that all are satisfied with both process and outcome.
Q: What are the possible outcomes after Workplace Mediation?
A: Workplace mediation offers a range of outcomes including:
- Raising and clarifying issues.
- Redefining problems jointly rather than individually.
- Achieving an appreciation of differences.
- Understanding the impact and effect on each other.
- Achieving a better understanding of each other and some new perspectives.
- A compromise – a good enough improvement.
- Repairing and rebuilding working relationships.
- Win-win outcomes – an outcome that changes how you see the situation and offers value for both.
- Complete transformation of the relationship.
There is always potential to change situations for the better. Often people choose to start the Workplace mediation process to resolve seemingly impossible situations. Workplace mediation is a powerful opportunity for progress. Many of these will feel impossible at the moment the opportunity to change things for the better by Workplace mediation is something you may wish to consider and discuss with your Mediator.