Staffing Complaint Mediation
What is mediation?
Mediation is a voluntary and confidential process that promotes open and respectful communication with the assistance of a neutral and impartial third party - the mediator. Mediation allows the parties in a dispute to examine their interests and concerns, explore a variety of creative options and develop mutually satisfactory solutions to the problem in a timely and cost-effective manner.
How does staffing complaint mediation work?
The mediation process follows the usual basic steps:
- Identify issues
- Explore interests
- Generate options
- Reach agreement
Generally, the "parties" in a staffing complaint mediation are the complainant and the manager who conducted the appointment process. Each party may be accompanied by a representative.
All staffing complaints are referred automatically to mediation unless one of the parties does not wish to participate.
Mediation is available at any stage of the complaint process. In other words, one of the parties may opt out of mediation early on in the process, but may ask to mediate the complaint at a later stage of the proceedings. In order for mediation to take place, however, both parties must agree to participate.
It is important to note that participation in mediation does not suspend time frames stipulated in the Public Service Staffing Complaints Regulations for the formal hearing process.
Keys to Success
- Prepare themselves for mediation and participate actively in the process
- Genuinely listen to one another in an effort to understand the other's point of view
- Express themselves openly, yet respectfully
- Are more concerned with resolving the complaint than laying blame or winning
- Are fully authorized to settle, or have ready access to the necessary authority
Benefits of Mediation
Mediation is not subject to the same procedural requirements and time frames as a formal hearing. With the help of the mediator, the parties set the tone of the mediation session and organize their time in a way that meets everyone's needs.
Some of the costs associated with a formal hearing process are avoided or reduced by using mediation - travel expenses for witnesses, for example.
All of the information divulged during mediation is treated as confidential and can be released in certain, limited circumstances only.
In working through the issues and generating a number of ideas, the parties are often able to reach a solution that is more creative, or simply not available, through the formal process of a hearing.
Improves the working relationship between the parties
The focus of staffing complaint mediation is to help the parties find a solution by providing them a forum to examine their interests and possible options in a constructive manner and, in this way, build a better working relationship between them.
The parties own the process
With the help of the mediator, the parties themselves determine the outcome of the process, and are therefore more likely to be satisfied with the process as a whole, and the results, in particular.