“Mediation is a process whereby an independent third party intervenes into a workplace conflict or dispute to assist the parties to reach a satisfactory outcome”
Prestige Mediators are committed to the process of Mediation and will work with all those involved to explore the underlying issues and assist all parties to decide themselves to deal with their differences.
The mediators will listen carefully to what each party says and will encourage them to talk through the situation/problem in a constructive way. The success of the mediation process will in the main be driven by the parties.
If participants want to find a solution they will find it. The mediators will do everything they can to create a safe environment for the process to take place and help those involved find a positive and constructive way forward. There are three key aspects to the mediation process:
Impartiality: The mediators will maintain a balanced and impartial stance at all times and will not pass any judgement or make any determinations on who is right or wrong.
Confidentiality: All of the work undertaken is confidential between the parties and should remain so. Any breach of confidentiality can seriously undermine the process.
Voluntary: Mediation is entered into voluntarily and by agreeing to utilise the process participants are giving a commitment to work through their issues in a constructive manner.
What is a mediator?
A mediator is an independent person who is invited into a conflict or dispute, to work with the people involved, as they try to find a positive way forward. The mediator does not judge who is right or wrong, they do not apportion blame and they do not provide a solution.
About our Mediators
At Prestige HR Ltd, our Mediators are trained to the highest standards in Mediation Practice and are experienced in resolving workplace disputes. This is to give you the peace of mind and confidence that you can put your trust in them to support participants through their dispute to reach resolution, if that option is available. They are friendly, professional and approachable so that you feel as comfortable as possible throughout the process to explore the conflict you find yourself in, so that your queries are answered throughout the process, and when you need support they are there to provide a reassuring voice throughout, all to ensure the best outcome for all participants involved.
The nature of workplace mediation
Mediation is a mechanism for managing conflict and is underpinned by some very important principles.
Mediation is voluntary and confidential; it is not shared with anyone outside the process.
How will the process be managed?
Referral: During the initial referral we will explore the background to the dispute in order to determine that mediation is the most appropriate intervention.
Contact with participants: Once it has been established that mediation is appropriate we will then contact the participants, usually by phone, by way of introduction. The main purpose of this contact will be to discuss the mediation process and answer any queries that the participants may have.
Mediation Meetings: Following the initial contact the mediator will then meet with the participants. A mixture of separate and joint meetings will be conducted. Separate meetings are used by the mediator to discuss issues on a one to one basis with participants. Joint meetings, which are facilitated by the mediator, are used to deliver common messages to participants and ultimately to have them discuss their issues and problems face to face. The sequence of the meetings will be determined by the mediator who will have considered the attitude and concerns of the individuals involved and the nature of the issues in dispute.
What will the Mediator do?
At an early stage the mediator will explain and clarify their role and agree with participants how the case will be handled. They will discuss the participants’ goals for mediation and agree terms of reference for the mediation process which the participants are able to commit to. The mediator will also ask participants to sign a confidentiality form.
Mediation is not easy and at times it can be very challenging, frustrating, complex and tiring. However, the mediator will guide the participants through the mediation process and will fully explain and prepare them each step of the way. It is their responsibility to manage the process and ensure that participants are given every opportunity to discuss their issues in a constructive way.
Throughout the process the mediator will consider with the parties how they could better manage their conflict and will ask them to consider future needs, expectations and options. However, it is important that all involved realise that the mediation process is a tool used to make a situation better - participants will only get out of the process what they are prepared to put in.
Mediators will not make recommendations on how the parties should resolve their difficulties. They will work with them to explore the underlying issues and through a constructive approach help them to listen to one another. The ultimate goal of mediation is to focus on the future by acknowledging areas of commonality and difference in an attempt to build bridges and restore effective working relationships. Where parties are unable to resolve their differences via mediation they are then free to pursue other formal processes.
There are no set formulae for how mediation should end as every situation is different. What is important is that both participants have been given the chance to start talking again and agree what they want to happen for themselves. What happens after that could include:
An action plan being put in place which will be monitored by both participants
An agreement outlining how the participants will interact in the future
Consideration of training and development issues or supervision and coaching needs
The mediator will record any outcomes in writing for the participants to keep and make use of.
How long do mediation meetings last?
The time taken for mediation itself, as with the overall process, will vary depending on the number of people involved and the nature of the complaint. In the first instance we ask employers and participants to set aside one full day (10AM– 5PM).
Where will the mediation take place?
The mediation will not take place at the employees workplace, suitable arrangements will be agreed.
Involvement of Representatives
Involving representatives in mediation is not generally encouraged, whether that is a lawyer, a trade union representative or a friend. The key point of mediation is to provide an opportunity for those in conflict to find their own solution to the situation they find themselves in, and for the parties to remain central to the process. That said we will consider requests from individuals to have someone with them as moral support bearing in mind the views of all participants to the mediation.
At Prestige HR Ltd, we make every effort to ensure that your questions and queries about Mediation are answered before engaging in the process. If you have any further queries, please contact our Head Office 042 942 4059 or alternatively contact your nominated Mediator.