Conflict within the workplace is inevitable. Most organisations are made up of multi-disciplinary teams which are comprised of individuals who have different and various; opinions, views, tastes, values, communication styles (and skills), cultural backgrounds, personal challenges, levels of resilience, education, and industry expertise (to name a few).
However, where difference starts to escalate into conflict, and it is left unresolved, evidence demonstrates that it can contribute to: the deteriorating mental health of individuals and the team, strained relationships, organisational disruption, silos, decreased productivity, increase of complaints and insurance claims, difficulty attracting and retaining skilled staff, absenteeism and presenteeism, reputational damage, the contamination of the broader team, expensive legal expenses and significant use of resources and time by all levels of staff.
Mediation (facilitated discussions) provide an efficient and inexpensive way to support employees and teams to identify the issues and resolve them quickly. Where it is possible, Emverio Workplace Mediations gives companies the best opportunity to resolve escalating matters informally.
What is workplace mediation?
Workplace mediation is a process whereby a mediator is used to support individuals or groups within the workplace to identify the problems and develop solutions.
Where an issue cannot be resolved internally, provided the issue is not serious enough to warrant legal intervention, mediation can be an effective way to empower staff to engage constructively, repair workplace relationships and create their own solutions, without the need for implementing more formal interventions, such as the initiation of disciplinary action or performance management.
A mediator assists by facilitating a conversation between the parties involved with the aim of reaching a mutually agreed-upon outcome by helping them to identify and explore the issues, generate options for resolution, establish agreed actions and implement processes to keep everyone accountable.
Emverio Workplace Mediations use a model that is restorative and focuses on rebuilding trust and restoring amicable workplace relationships. This can be implemented after a workplace investigation where relationships and teams may have become fractured, or it can just be two colleagues who have a professional disagreement that is now impacting their workplace relationship.
How does workplace mediation work?
Mediation assists participants to resolve conflict by guiding them to identify and explore issues, generate options, discuss accountability processes and commit to mutually agreed-upon outcomes.
The mediation process usually only takes one day and comprises three stages:
- Pre-mediation (intake sessions): The mediator meets with each party involved (including the employer) individually to clarify how the mediation process works, outline roles and responsibilities and discuss what will happen if they are able or unable to reach an agreement. It is also an opportunity for the participants to ask any questions and for the mediator to determine whether or not to progress to a joint session.
- Joint session (the mediation): The joint session involves the employees and the mediator. Usually management is not involved in the joint session. The mediator is trained in using the Emverio workplace mediation model, ensuring that each participant gets the opportunity to contribute to; setting the agenda, exploring each item, creating options for resolution and making commitments.
- Post-mediation: Throughout the process the mediator works with all participants (including the employer) to discuss what will happen if the parties reach agreement and what structures to implement to ensure accountability with any commitments. We also talk about what will happen and agree on a process if the mediation fails.
Conveniently, this process is now offered online. This means that you are not limited by jurisdiction and can choose any one of our accredited mediators.
Where can I find workplace mediation services?
The Emverio group offers workplace mediation and training services through Emverio Workplace Mediations.
Our team of experienced and accredited workplace mediators, facilitators, trainers and coaches can support your team to build, maintain and repair relationships to foster a cohesive and collaborative workplace.
In addition to workplace mediation, Emverio Workplace Mediations can also provide workplace training and conflict coaching to support your business to build its internal workplace resolution and investigation capability.
Visit the Emverio Workplace Mediations website to find out more.