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What is Workplace Mediation?

Workplace mediation is a process whereby a mediator is used to support individuals or groups within the workplace to resolve a significant conflict or dispute.

Conflict within the workplace is inevitable and an openly accepted part of our professional lives. However, many employees simply don’t know how to manage conflict effectively. This often results in unresolved disputes, strained workplace relationships, organisational disruption and significant financial costs.

Mediation can be an ideal solution to resolve issues that are not serious enough to warrant formal legal intervention, but require prompt and fair resolution. Where employees are unable to resolve workplace conflict independently, a mediator can assist by facilitating a conversation between the parties involved with the aim of reaching a mutually agreed-upon outcome.

A mediator doesn’t provide advice or determine the outcome of a dispute. Instead, their role is to work with the participants to resolve the conflict by helping them to explore the issue, identify options, consider the alternatives and establish agreed actions and outcomes.

How does workplace mediation work?

Workplace mediation works by facilitating a conversation between participants to assist them to talk about the issue/s in dispute and explore opportunities to reach an agreement.

The mediation process usually only takes one day and comprises the following stages:

Pre-mediation session:

During this stage, the mediator meets with each participant individually, including management, to clarify the process that will be used, outline their role as the mediator, discuss what will happen if they are able/unable to reach an agreement and to ensure everyone’s expectations are aligned. Each meeting usually takes around one hour.

Joint facilitation session session:

After the pre-mediation sessions are complete, the mediator will facilitate a joint discussion between the parties. In most cases the joint mediation session is conducted without representation from management or HR. The mediator will ask each party questions about their opinion and they may challenge or conduct a ‘reality check’ some views held or reframe some opinions to shed light on a different perspective or to direct the conversation. Based on the information presented, the group will then explore the various options available to solve the issue and outline the steps each party will take moving forward.


After the mediation session, each party will be responsible for following through on the steps agreed upon in the joint facilitation session. The mediator should also pay attention to what happens following mediation and provide support to the employer to design infrastructure to enable the parties to uphold the agreement.

Any details discussed during the mediation process should remain confidential, however copies of any agreements reached will be provided to management or HR. It is important that participants do not discuss the matter with anyone else involved to maintain confidentiality for all parties.

On occasion, participants may also request to have a support person present during mediation. As mediation is an informal intervention and is not disciplinary in nature, a support person generally isn’t required. However, in the case a support person does attend, they are not allowed to speak at the mediation and will be subject to the same confidentiality conditions as the participants.

Why should my workplace offer a workplace mediation service?

When unresolved, workplace conflict can have significant negative impact on the wider organisation.

In addition to the potential for eroded trust between employees and/or management, decreased employee morale, increased stress, and reduced staff performance, the financial impact of increased employee absenteeism, staff resignations or managing an escalating claim can be substantial.

Rather than allowing workplace conflict to fester, mediation provides an active and voluntary approach to address the issue before it can develop into something more detrimental to your business. In fact, over 80 per cent of people who participate in our mediations are able to reach a mutually acceptable agreement and continue to work together.

While some businesses may attempt to conduct mediation without professional assistance, they rarely possess the required knowledge and training to conduct the process effectively and could risk unintentionally escalating the matter and/or becoming embroiled in the conflict. In some cases, they could even place staff at risk, or attract a complaint against them or a claim against the business.

By using a professional mediator, you’ll have confidence that issue will be handled in a consistent and reliable way which is designed to ensure compliance, minimise risk and empower staff.

Beyond solving workplace conflict alone, your leaders and managers will also gain valuable micro-skills to help them identify and manage conflict early to foster improved communication and reduce reliance on external support.

What are the benefits for my employees?

Most employees value having a conflict-free workplace. While some conflict is inevitable, when serious conflict does occur it can be very stressful or distressing for the parties involved when it is allowed to continue unresolved.

Rather than simply ignoring the issue, mediation provides a voluntary process where employees can attempt to reach a mutually acceptable outcome without the need for disciplinary action or performance management.

Our mediation services adopt a methodology designed to support both the employer and employee. The majority of employees in a conflict situation prefer to be offered the opportunity to try to resolve the matter through mediation before more formal issue-management processes are invoked.

We give participants the opportunity to discuss matters in a safe and constructive way, allowing them to ‘clean the slate’, find a way forward and recommit to the terms of their working relationship. At a minimum, employees should be able to conclude the mediation process with some recommendations to help manage the situation going forward.

What to look for in a good workplace mediation service?

Not all workplace mediation services are the same. If you want to ensure a workplace mediation service will be effective, make sure it includes the following features:

Experienced and accredited workplace mediators, facilitators, trainers and conflict coaches.

Industry best-practice methodology.

A comprehensive service package offering.

A fast response time.

Nationally-recognised and reputable brand.

Here’s how we stack up against the criteria:

Experienced and accredited mediators

We use fully-trained local providers in all jurisdictions across Australia. All our mediators have been accredited by the National Register of Mediators and are experienced in workplace conflict mediation. Most of our mediators have also specialised in fields including law, psychology, teaching, nursing and a range of other disciplines.

Industry best-practice methodology.

We use a unique model which adopts best-practice techniques to solve workplace conflict while supporting both employees and employers to get the best result. We also help your business evolve into a stronger organisation by assisting in training your leaders and managers to spot and manage conflict early to reduce reliance on external support.

Comprehensive service package offering

We provide a complete suite of workplace conflict management services including:

  • Workplace mediations - specifically designed to work for both employers and employees to assist in resolving workplace conflict.
  • Workplace training - our online and in-person modules are designed to support both management and human resources to conduct their own workplace mediations and workplace investigations.
  • Conflict coaching - an innovative option that provides employees with an opportunity to better manage their workplace disputes and build their resolution skills under the guidance of a professional coach.

A fast response time.

We can conduct mediations and investigations through your preferred channel, either on- or off-site (online or by telephone), at a time that’s convenient to you.

We have offices in most major cities around Australia as well as other regional locations. Our mediators are also happy to travel to other locations as required.

Fast response time

We respond to your emails or calls either immediately, or within the same day.

Nationally-recognised reputable brand

Anna Faoagali, the Principal and Director of Emverio Workplace Solutions, has been facilitating mediations for over 20 years. Over that time, she has grown and developed the business to become a nationally recognised brand with workplace mediation experts across every jurisdiction in Australia, including New South Wales, Queensland, Australian Capital Territory, Victoria, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and other regional locations.

If you would like to request a workplace mediations, please download and complete a Mediation Request Form and return it to