Workplace

Workplace mediation is a process in which the parties to a dispute, with the assistance of a neutral third party (mediator), identify the disputed issues, develop options, consider alternatives and endeavour to reach an agreement.

A workplace facilitation is a process in which the parties (usually a group), with the assistance of a neutral third party (facilitator), identify problems to be solved, tasks to be accomplished or disputed issues to be resolved. Facilitation may conclude there, or it may continue using the mediation process outlined above.

Mediators and facilitators have no advisory or determinative role on the content of the matters discussed or the outcomes, but may advise on or determine the process of mediation/facilitation.

Workplace mediations/facilitations can involve any number of participants, such as two individual workers through to large-scale differences within or between organisations. Some common examples include:

  • An interpersonal conflict between colleagues who have difficulty working together;
  • Work colleagues who have personal conflicts arising from their relationship outside the workplace;
  • Differences between groups within a work team;
  • A team, which is split over its future direction or allocation of resources.

The advantages of workplace mediations/facilitations are that:

  • The people themselves maintain control over their own dispute.
  • Since parties make their own decisions they are usually more committed to the outcome than if a decision is imposed on them.
  • The real ‘experts’ are usually the parties themselves. This means that the decisions reached are often more workable and practical than decisions made by outsiders.
  • The service is confidential, prompt, cost-effective, accessible and “user friendly”.
  • Mediators/facilitators used by the Service are drawn from a wide range of cultures and occupations.
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