As part of our holistic approach to managing workplace disputes, Synergy Workplace Investigations offers a specialist mediation service to help you resolve residual post investigation issues and assist the parties to adjust to changes that may come about as a result of report recommendations.
Our expert industrial mediation practitioners have decades of experience and know how to approach volatile and sensitive matters with compassion and sensitivity.
They are also available as a stand-alone service should you require an effective mediator to help settle workplace disputes.
Benefits of Early Mediation
Workplace mediation can be an effective tool for early intervention when disputes arise between workers for the following reasons:
- Mediation gives both parties an opportunity to feel heard by giving them a formal and controlled, yet empathetic forum in which to express their frustrations.
- Simple misunderstandings are often the most common triggers for workplace disharmony. An experienced mediator will be able to pinpoint the source of the mis-communication and help both parties work toward a greater level of understanding for the other’s point of view.
- Mediation can resolve misunderstandings and bad feeling before the issues become entrenched and escalate into full scale misconduct issues.
- A well conducted mediation program can save an organisation tens of thousands of dollars by preventing bullying and harassment complaints and associated workplace investigations as well as costs associated with increased absentee rates, staff turnover and WorkCover claims.
Why Choose an External Mediator
Employees must have confidence in the overall mediation process for it to be successful. Hiring an external mediator can increase the likelihood of a successful resolution for the following reasons:
- An external mediator is neutral or impartial. The perception of neutrality and objectivity is frequently a crucial factor in the eyes of the disputing parties. When mediation is conducted internally, parties are usually acutely aware of the potential for having to work in closer association with the mediator at some time in the future, even in large organisations. There is also the risk that the mediator, no matter how well trained and well intentioned, will bring their own preconceptions about the parties into the mediation process.
- Confidentiality can be better assured with an external mediator. It is in the mediator’s interests to behave with the utmost integrity – their professional reputation and therefore, the success of their business relies upon it. An internally run mediation can never completely assure, or maintain a strong perception of, confidentiality due to the dual role of the mediator as both facilitator and fellow employee. The parties will always be aware of this and will have to deal with this shared knowledge whenever they are working together in the workplace, potentially impacting the effectiveness of the process and complicating future working relationships.
- Complex disputes require extensive experience and specialist knowledge to settle effectively. An internal mediator, with basic training and limited experience, may not have the skills to adequately deal with more serious disputes, nor the time to devote the necessary attention to the case. This may result in a less effective resolution and may impact on employee perception of the organisation’s ability to resolve disputes adequately.