Hello, my name is Anna Faoagali. I am the Director and Principal of Evolve Workplaces and today, and I am focusing on employees (people participating in a workplace mediation). This video is seven minutes. So, if you have asked for a mediation, want to know what will happen, or have been invited to participate in a workplace mediation, this video is for you.
What can you expect from an Evolve Mediator?
All Evolve Mediators use the same model across all Australian States. We are all accredited, experienced mediators. All Evolve Workplaces’ practitioners use the same model.
It is designed to give you the best opportunity to demonstrate to your employer that you have the skills to deal with any outstanding issues and make agreements about your future working relationship.
The model that we use is facilitative and restorative in nature. That is, we work with you to talk about areas that you might have found difficult in the past, and we work with you to come up with your own ideas about how to make it work in the future.
We are not there to judge you or tell you what to do. We know that you are the experts of your own lives, not us. We are there to support you to make your own choices about how you want this to turn out.
There is a misconception about mediation that we are there to make you reach an agreement. We are not. If you don’t want to participate or the mediation fails, that is you can’t reach agreements, then that is ok. We just need to look at what happens from here.
Does it work?
Over 80% of people who participate in our workplace mediations resolve their outstanding issues and are able to move forward. So, yes it does work. We are experts at getting people to talk about issues and come up with ways to deal with it moving forward.
A lot of people come to mediation sceptical. They can’t see how it will work. And, that is fine if you feel that way, but don’t let that thought stop you from taking up this opportunity. The other common thing people tell us, is that, even if they do agree, that they are sceptical about whether the other person will keep their agreements. So, yes, it is one thing to keep an agreement and another skill to be able to keep those agreements over time. So, let me talk you through the process.
The model that we use incorporates individual, one on one sessions with each of the participants, including the employer. This is our opportunity for us to meet you, and get a sense of what has happened. We also use this opportunity to talk you through the process and help prepare you for your mediation. We use this time to assess whether or not it is appropriate to proceed to a mediation. These individual sessions are usually conducted in the morning and then we hold the joint session in the afternoon, often referred to as the mediation. I will be uploading an introduction to intakes in the next few weeks so keep an eye out for that if you want to learn more about what we talk about in those intakes.
What if I don’t want to participate?
It’s fine if you don’t want to participate. I would encourage you to at least attend the individual one on one intake session with the mediator and share with the mediator your concerns about participating. We would never make anyone participate in a mediation. Mediations are voluntary and at any moment, you, me or the other party can terminate a workplace mediation. This is a genuine opportunity to look at whether or not you can sort out your differences via this process. Sometimes this process is not appropriate.
What happens if the mediation fails?
The mediation fails if we decide not to proceed to mediation or despite their best efforts the parties are unable to reach agreements in their mediation or if you are unable to keep your agreements into the future. If this happens then we will be writing a letter to your employer advising them, why the mediation failed. Then, it is up to your employer to determine what to do. When we are asked to conduct a workplace mediation, it is informal. That is, the employer generally has an expectation that you need to sort it out and are giving you an opportunity to show that you can. However, if you can’t, employers need to look to their policies and procedures and determine what further action is warranted. Usually, this is the initiation of a more formal process like performance management, investigations, training, counselling or disciplinary action – depending on the complaints and what happens.