Why use Evolve Workplaces?
Evolve Workplaces? ‘the model works, and they are reliable, we understand their process’ (Government Client)
At Evolve Workplaces our workplace mediations have been specifically designed to work for employers and employees. Over 80% of people who participate are successful and report back that they wish they had engaged in this process sooner.
Anna Faoagali, the Principal and Director of Evolve Workplaces, Accredited Mediator and Specialist Workplace Mediator, has been facilitating mediations for over 20 years and now leads a team of workplace mediation experts across every jurisdiction in Australia including New South Wales, Queensland, Australian Capital Territory, Victoria, Tasmania and the Northern Territory.
This means that all Evolve Workplace mediators use the same workplace mediation model and methodology making it easier for our National partners to rely on us to give your most important asset (your people) the best opportunity to repair their relationships. Anna states:
The Process (intakes)
This is because the process is designed to provide a genuine opportunity for the participants to explore what has happened in the past and how to move forward. Nevertheless, talk to us if you would like to bring a support person. They need to be consented to by both parties. Anna Faoagali states:
Support people are not allowed to speak at the mediation. They are there only for emotional support. Ultimately it is up to the mediator to determine whether they think the support person can be in the room. Support people are also subject to the same confidentiality conditions as the participants.
No mediation should be facilitated without firstly meeting the parties involved. This is because mediators need to assess the appropriateness of a mediation prior to holding a joint session. Secondly, mediators need to be able to go through the process with the participants to ensure everyone is clear on; the process, the role of the mediator, what will happen if they reach agreement, what will happen if they don’t reach agreement and to ensure all expectations are all aligned. Pre-mediation sessions are your opportunity to speak to the mediator about any concerns that you have and answer any questions that you have.
All Evolve Workplaces’ mediators are Nationally Accredited. Yes there is a Mediator Standards Board that has a National Register of Mediators https://msb.org.au You can find all our accredited mediators registered on this Board. This means that our mediators have certification and have done the pre-requisite required to mediate. However, our mediators have done far more than that. Most of our mediators have specialized in other areas including; law, psychology, teaching, nursing and a range of other disciplines. All of our mediators have been mediating with us since our inception which means they have significant experience mediating.
The role of a workplace mediator is to independently assist employees identify and talk about the issues in dispute and to explore opportunities to reach agreement.
The Joint Session (mediation / facilitation)
The model that we use for the joint session is facilitative in nature. This means that the workplace mediator will not tell you what to do or judge you. However, the mediator may ask you questions about your opinion or may challenge some views you hold, we call that ‘reality checking’ or ‘inquiring’. The mediator may want to get behind some beliefs you hold about each other to see whether that might shed light on a different view. The mediator may also reframe some of the opinions that you share using constructive words that may illicit a different tone or direction of the conversation. In addition to this, in workplace mediations we are subject to workplace laws, so there may be some areas that the mediator might determine as not appropriate to discuss in that particular forum. Ultimately though the participants determine the content and the mediator manages the process of the joint session. Our process follows this model. Your mediator will help prepare you to participate in your joint session.
- Each participant speaks
- Set agenda for the joint session
- Explore the agenda items
- Generate options for resolution
- Agreement setting
How to prepare for your mediation? To prepare for your workplace mediation we at recommend that you don’t stress about your participation. Try and get some sleep and not to think about it too much. Remember, it is an opportunity and it’s informal. This means that your workplace more likely than not believes you have the skill and capacity to resolve this before it escalates further and that is a good thing.
Nevertheless, if you want to prepare for your mediation we suggest that you think about:
- What you want to talk about. What are the areas that are important for you to talk to the other person about? This might be for example, the way that you communicate with each other.
- Come up with at least three suggestions that you think might work to improve that area in the future.
- Think about what you think might work in the future to avoid the matter escalating to mediation again. Anna Faoagali states that:
At Evolve Workplaces we pay attention to what happens post mediation and work with the employer to design infrastructure to support the parties after the mediation. This is the case even when participants proceed to mediation and don’t reach agreement, proceed to mediation and do reach agreement, or don’t even attend the joint session.