Mediation helps to resolve workplace disputes because:
- mediation is confidential
- fast, low cost and informal
- mediation can deal with the intangible issues such as; perceptions, management style or expectations, relationship issues, stress and also the substantive issues (such as performance or bullying)
- mediation has a positive and future focus
- mediation does not focus on blame but instead enables insight and understanding
- mediation gives people an opportunity to understand the impact of their actions and perhaps change their behaviour
The Australian Human Rights Commission reports that interpersonal conflict between employees, their peers and management is one of the leading causes of chronic stress in the workplace and can result in anxiety, depression and decreased cognitive capacity.
Unresolved workplace conflict can escalate over time into a formal complaint, a workplace injury (such as PTSD) and have a serious impact on health, wellbeing and productivity. Most people want to resolve their disputes at work but need help to do this.
Two senior executives from the same organisation have stopped communicating with one another. Nina was asked by the HR Manager to resolve the dispute which was having an impact on the rest of the department and distracting people from their work. The organisation was also concerned about corporate governance issues which had been neglected. Nina spoke to the two managers and the HR manager to discuss the goals of the mediation and their commitment. (If there was no commitment at this stage the mediation would not proceed.) Nina encouraged the managers to do some simple preparation prior to the mediation. The mediation consisted of two meetings of approximately 3 hours per session. Nina helped the two executives to identify the things that concerned them most, to discuss their concerns and options for resolution. Nina encouraged both to be open and honest and talk about the things they had been avoiding. They had an opportunity to understand their own behaviour and the impact on the other person. Both agreed to several outcomes. They were able to return to work and work together successfully.
Other outcomes from mediation include: an agreement to part company, an agreement to change a position description, payment of outstanding monies, an agreement on some of the issues and a commitment to return to work.
Nina has undertaken mediations for the following organisations: The University of NSW, the NSW Workers Compensation Commission, The University of Technology Sydney, Qantas, St George Bank, the Australian Defence Force and many smaller workplaces.
Please contact our office to discuss your needs. Contact us
Please download a copy of our free Workplace Conflict Guide from iTunes. The Guide provides easy to understand information for managers and employees involved in workplace conflict. The Guide is written by Nina Harding, John J Whelan and Simone Farrar. Please note the free Workplace Conflict Guide must be downloaded to an Apple device.
“HIC has engaged Nina to conduct high level mediations, and has found her practical, quiet approach achieves excellent results and that, most importantly, those results last.”
Julia Burns, Manager, People and Performance, HIC
“I’ve found your approach to be extremely professional but also very accommodating and empathetic. You’re certainly an expert in your field – obviously a very skilled mediator. Thank you for making a very difficult and painful situation a lot less painful than I had thought it would be.”
Name withheld, Workplace Mediation
“Jane and Nina did an excellent job of bringing together five disparate UNSW student organisations to recognise common interests and plan for a vibrant student experience under VSU. Jane and Nina successfully facilitated a complex series of negotiations and provided an effective framework for planning significant organisational change.”
Lyndell Carter , Executive Officer, Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor(Resources), University of New South Wales
“In my experience I have not found any mediator who better than Nina understands the value of mediation as a dispute resolution tool. Nina brings not only this understanding, but compassion and a genuine desire to see the parties resolve the underlying and ancillary issues which often impact on the decisions of parties to litigation, something which other mediators and practitioners often overlook to the detriment of resolution. I have no hesitation in recommending Nina as a mediator, and indeed have done so to other lawyers on a number of occasions.”
Paul Hunt, B.A., LL.B., LL.M., Southern Cross Lawyers
“I could not be more appreciative of her efforts of persistence and tact which resulted in the discontinuance of proceedings and considerable relief of the parties involved.”
Adrian Byrne, Solicitor