Workplace Issues

What is Workplace Mediation?

Workplace mediation is a process in which the parties attend to a dispute, with the assistance of a neutral third party (mediator), identify the issues in a dispute, develop options, consider alternatives and endeavor 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:

  • All matters discussed are confidential and parties cannot use anything that is said or done in any legal proceedings. This can protect workplaces that want to resolve issues that are commercially sensitive;
  • The participants maintain control over their own dispute;
  • Since participants 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 participants 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 with a diverse range of experiences.

CRS staff can discuss the details and help you decide what course of action will be most appropriate for your workplace. Cost will depend on the type of resolution service required; in most cases a quote will be issued.

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