• Resolve conflict early. Help employees reconcile. Save time and money.


Workplace Mediation Services

Not all workplace conflict is harmful. Sometimes it can be the sign of a healthy organisation where expression of different ideas, creativity and debate is encouraged. It is when the conflict starts to escalate and starts to impact employees on a personal or emotional level that warning bells should go off. Rarely will this type of conflict go away on its own. Unresolved workplace conflict can have a sudden impact on the work environment or workplace culture. Whole teams are quickly affected as conflict spreads and other employees become involved. Productivity, performance suffer when conflict takes hold. It may be time, at this point, to bring in an independent, impartial mediator who has the skills and experience to resolve conflict in the workplace.

The aim of mediating a workplace dispute is to proactively assist, as a neutral party, to resolve a dispute between employees, managers or business owners so as to rebuild their working relationship.

Mediation is a way to resolve disputes without filing a “formal complaint” or lodging a claim to the Fair Works Commission or Industrial Tribunal. It provides a forum in which the parties in dispute can discuss the conflict, feel that they are being heard, gain insight and understanding into the perspective of the other party and work together in exploring and developing possible ways towards resolving the dispute.

Benefits of mediation in the workplace

  • Recognition and Understanding
    When employees feel they are being heard and have the opportunity to hear and understand the other party’s point of view as well, the likelihood of an amicable resolution is strengthened.
  • Self-Empowerment
    Sometimes, the workplace can be an place where employees feel they are being told what to do. Mediation offers employees the opportunity to have input into the decision on how to resolve a situation.
  • Quick Results
    Mediation can take place quickly and only takes a few hours to conduct.  In contrast, a formal complaint filed with The Fair Work Commission or Industrial Tribunal can take many months to resolve.
  • Cost Effective
    Mediation is cost effective not only financially but also in time and the bottom line of a business. Mediator fees are a fraction of the costs of the legal fees associated with a protracted conflict.

The steps in the mediation process with Segal Mediation Group

  1. Our workplace mediation process involves conducting individual preliminary meetings with all stakeholders- i.e. a representative of the business (usually HR) and the parties involved in the dispute. Once these preliminary meetings are complete, we will arrange a date to hold the joint mediation with the involved parties.
  2. Joint Mediation: At the beginning of the mediation, the mediator explains that the role of the mediator is to help the parties identify their problems and that the mediator does not represent either party (or the company) and will not impose a decision. Rather, the mediator’s role is to help the parties formulate their own resolution of the dispute. One of the most important tenets of mediation is confidentiality, and the mediator will explain that “what happens in mediation stays in mediation” and cannot be used outside of the mediation process.
  3. Identifying the Problem. Each party will be given the opportunity to explain the nature of the dispute and how the dispute has affected them. Hearing the other party’s point of view can be difficult, but it is essential and a powerful way for one party to see how the other party views and has been impacted by the dispute.
  4. Identifying the Issues and Agenda Setting. The mediator’s role is to help the parties identify the issues and the core problems surrounding the dispute; frame the issues and gain consensus on what the parties want and need to solve; and help set the agenda for the mediation.
  5. Finding Solutions. Step by step, the parties work through the agenda items and brainstorm solutions. Throughout this process the parties work to define what each party would like the other party to do (or not do) differently in the future.
  6. Private Sessions. From time to time, a private session with both parties individually will be held.  This is an opportunity for the parties to say how they feel the mediation is going, identify questions they would like answered by the other party, share concerns and ideas regarding the mediation. All matters discussed are confidential unless the party agrees that the information can be relayed to the other party.
  7. The Agreement. Any agreement reached will detail what the parties have agreed to in order to rebuild their working relationship.

Reasons why workplace issues commonly arise & which mediation can assist with

Interpersonal conflict between employees. Everyone has their own personality and work style.  Even the simplest of issues between employees, if left unresolved, can fester and grow into much larger issues that not only negatively impact the employees involved but also impact the rest of the workplace. Employers that provide mediation as an avenue which employees can use to resolve their disputes in a confidential, impartial and nonjudgmental way empower  employees to positively change their workplace interactions.

Conflict arising from performance issues. Sometimes there is a fine line between delivering effective performance feedback and the employee feeling bullied by that feedback. It is important for managers to understand the importance of delivering the feedback in an effective way without having the fear that accusations will be made against them.

Harassment & Bullying Complaints. Using mediation to deal with harassment and bullying complaints can be very helpful, especially if the complaint is based on a misperception or misunderstanding of what is acceptable workplace behaviour. Mediation can serve to open communication lines between the parties, help clarify what is acceptable workplace behaviour, and foster a healthier understanding between co-workers.

Leadership style and capability – our experience shows the significant positive or negative impact of different leadership approaches on employees’ engagement and performance. Misaligned leadership style and capabilities typically reveal themselves itself in frequent complaints about ineffective communication, lack of clarity about expectations, poor performance, high levels of turnover and absenteeism.

Mediation can assist by the two parties sharing their different perspectives and one of the results might be that the manager will hear the impact of his management style and this will often result in the manager making changes to his behaviour and part of the agreement may be that the manager undergoes some leadership coaching.

Why use Segal Mediation Group?

Segal Mediation Group has both the qualifications as well as hundreds of hours of experience in helping businesses resolve disputes between employees.  It is extremely common to come across difficult personalities in the workplace where the HR representative or the business owner will tell us that they don’t believe the situation can be resolved. We have seen time and time again that if we can get the two parties in the room together so as to express their points of view as well as to express what they need from each other to move forward and put the past behind them, this will more often than not help them both work towards a mutual agreement which will let them move forward for both their benefits as well as the business.

Are you experiencing a workplace conflict that’s you can’t seem to resolve or is something brewing that you know needs immediate attention?

At Segal Mediation Group, we provide bespoke mediation services for businesses of all sizes that are experiencing conflict.

We find the best results are achieved when intervention is made as early as possible. If you need help please call 02 8036 5558 or 0413 532 353 or email saranne@segalmediationgroup.com.au

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