Employment Relations Consultants, Paul Diver and Associates, share their insights on the importance of workplace mediation and conflict resolution - what does the process involve, and the benefits of early dispute resolution.
Mediation is a process for individuals or groups, who are in any type of conflict, to work with a mediator to discuss the problems, identify the key issues and explore practical ways to resolve or manage the conflict.
No matter how complex or entrenched a matter is, mediation is a powerful tool to assist parties to resolve their differences and find a way to positively move forward.
Mediations are usually conducted in confidence and the mediator is impartial.
What’s involved with mediation?
Mediation is a flexible process, which may vary depending on the needs of the parties. The mediator will determine the best process in consultation with all parties involved. Usually a mediation process will consist of:
- Separate preliminary meetings with each party;
- Joint meetings with all parties to discuss and explore the issues;
- Generating and developing options for resolution;
- Forming agreement.
We can provide an experienced and highly qualified mediator who will design a process to create solutions based outcomes.
Read more: The Icehouse blogs on HR and Employment
Mediation in Collective Bargaining
When the parties to collective bargaining are having difficulty reaching agreement or are at an impasse, a mediator may be able to assist the parties to get past the deadlock and through to agreement. A mediator can be involved at all stages of the bargaining process, including right from the beginning, which may be helpful where the parties have a history of difficult negotiations.
All parties to a negotiation will need to agree to involve a mediator, this can form part of the bargaining process agreement or an arrangement can be agreed upon at any other stage during the negotiations.
We are particularly experienced in collective bargaining situations and our mediator will work with the parties to change the dynamics in the negotiation, utilising their knowledge of impasse breaking strategies to get discussions moving in the right direction.
Workplace issues can sometimes involve whole teams when this happens it can have a significant effect on the ability for a team to be productive and can impact on health and safety.
We can work with the team to establish a process to the explore issues, including the underlying causes of conflict, in a non-threatening environment. This may include a combination of individual meetings, small group meetings and facilitated discussions with whole teams.
Conflict Management Coaching
Conflict management coaching involves one-on-one, informal conversations between the coach and an individual to support, encourage and challenge them in a period of conflict.
Engaging a trained conflict management coach will help individuals to:
- Clarify and achieve their conflict management goals
- Develop insights into the dynamics of their particular conflicts and disputes
- Consider the perspective of the other person or persons involved in the conflict or dispute
- Explore options and make informed choices about how to manage the conflict
- Develop practical skills to implement workable and sustainable conflict strategies
- Consider and overcome any possible challenge to reaching their goals
“Our Associates are experienced in the most complex disputes. Whether employment related or otherwise, our range of professional mediation and conflict resolution services can assist you to read a prompt and successful outcome to any dispute.”
Seeking early dispute resolution assistance can make or break a situation. We’re here to help.