Mediation (part of what’s referred to as Alternative Dispute Resolution – ADR) can be an important consideration in the governance, complaints and workplace investigation space.
But what exactly is it? And why would you consider ADR?
Mediation is a process where a trained and accredited (hint: don’t engage outside of this!) person assists people in conflict negotiate a mutually accepted agreement.
Specialist communication and process driven processes are employed to reach agreement on future activities to move forward. Importantly, the parties to the mediation control the outcome.
Unlike court, tribunals, and arbitration, no one imposes a solution on a party. If the parties do not agree to the plan moving forward, the dispute remains unresolved.
Mediation can be an option to address a complaint or dispute without the need for a formal investigation or process. It can also be used to address matters before they get out of hand. Of course, there are many issues that would fall outside of mediation, and it’s best to get the right advice from the start.
The advantages of mediation (if appropriate) are:
- It’s a quicker process than a formal investigation
- It’s significantly cheaper
- There is minimal psychological impact on participants (both those directly involved and any potential witnesses)
- It puts the power of resolution on the parties themselves
- It can address underlying issues, often a factor observed in many workplace complaints and disputes
- It shows a real attempt to address concerns and move forward with an agreedplan (it allows participants to be heard effectively)
What mediation is not:
- It’s not a legal or binding process
- Suitable unless all affected parties agree to both the concept and the process
- Used in performance or conduct management as a tool
- Suitable in investigations where the likely outcome is a reviewable action (i.edismissal)
The Forensix Group have trained and experienced Mediators to assist parties in dispute. It’s important to get advice early and have the problem assessed. Contact us or a no obligation chat and proposal to assist your needs.
The Forensix Group also offers another important service, Workplace Restoration.
Workplace Restoration is a complete extensive process whereby employees are reintegrated and renewed into a normal, respectful and trust-based workflow after an investigation, incident, bullying/harassment issue or prolonged conflict. It is often beneficial to bring together complainants and respondents (and sometimes witnesses) to allow people and groups to move forward.
The purpose of Workplace Restoration includes but is not limited to the following:
- To establish, re-establish or affirm trust-based and respectful communication and goodwill between all stakeholders after an incident
- To set the framework for accountability and prevention of additional incidents