Workplace Mediation and Dispute Resolution

Mediation is NOT a disciplinary process and should not be regarded as such.

Really, it is more akin to a form of “EAP” (Employee Assistance Program) offered as a means of support by the employer, for the benefit of the employee’s emotional well-being not only in the workplace but generally.

If you have been asked to participate in a workplace mediation, it means that your employer is giving you the opportunity to try and resolve the matter with the assistance of an independent and neutral third party (the Mediator), before invoking any more formal processes to manage any complaints or adverse workplace behaviours.

Most workplace policies recommend that employees participate in mediation where they have been unable to resolve adverse workplace relationship issues between themselves directly.

Mediation is more effective when conducted as early as possible after a problematic workplace relationship issue has arisen.

It may be identified by one or both of the parties themselves, or by the parties’ managers or HR personnel.

The best results are obtained when an adverse issue is in its early stages, when it can be “nipped in the bud” and before it:

  • begins to make the employee dread coming to work each day;
  • has a detrimental effect on the employee’s emotional wellbeing;
  • becomes toxic and chronic;
  • leads to dysfunctional workplace behavior that has an adverse effect on the employee’s professional performance – for their own sake and that of their employer;
  • has a detrimental effect on other employees in the workplace;
  • leads to behavior that warrants disciplinary investigation and/or performance management;
  • causes the employee to want to leave their job.

Although it is ideal if Mediation is conducted early in the development of a workplace disharmony, Mediation is still beneficial at any stage of employee conflict, for example:

  • before the making of a formal complaint;
  • following the outcome of an internal or external workplace investigation;
  • during the course of legal proceedings, eg the Fair Work Commission may order the parties to an application for an anti-bullying order to Mediate;
  • at the conclusion of legal proceedings, eg if an employee’s application/law suit was not successful and the parties still need to work together.

Mediation at any stage of workplace conflict is worthwhile because it facilitates a process of self-actualisation for each of the participants, and empowers them to express themselves, to be heard and understood, and to negotiate solutions on their own terms.

Please contact Darren at anytime regarding pricing, availability and any other questions you may have on office ph. (07) 5547 3601, mob. 0418 878 767, email darren@darrencaulfield.com.au