Lawyer expert in work mediation helping two women reconcile

Finding Advocacy In Work Mediation

Have you ever found the need for work mediation but were unclear of what to do and who to see? Workplace negotiations are a process that is sometimes required in cases of bullying, unfair dismissal, safety hazards, work injuries and even redundancy payouts due to restructuring or lay-offs. Sometimes employees may be hesitant to engage work mediation because of intimidation or lack of information. Don’t stay silent. Not dealing with matters that require work mediation can result in lost wages, loss of productivity, low staff morale and unemployment. Our working life takes up thirty percent of our lives and is important for your well-being and mental health.

If you are an employee less inclined to “rock the boat” when it comes to satisfaction in the workplace then you can always turn to an advocate. The three main advocates an employee can turn to are:

  • The Manager or Supervisor.
  • The Human Resources Manager.
  • The Union Representative.

If you feel uncomfortable approaching these representatives, then you can enlist the help of a colleague at work to accompany you when approaching these workplace staff members. You can approach these team members directly, but it often bears more weight when you have a friendly workmate with you.

Approaching the Supervisor in Work Mediation

The supervisor or line manager is the first person you should talk to when dealing with workplace issues. Find a time when the manager is free, perhaps after work or during lunchtime, and present the issue to him or her and ask for resolution. Sometimes the supervisor cannot be approached because they are the source of the workplace problem or hold a particular bias. This could be in the case of bullying from the manager or an alliance between the manager and the problematic colleague. It could be a case of the manager not wanting to report a safety issue to avoid reprimand from upper management. Or it could be any conflict of interest that affects the work mediation you are seeking. In this case, you can approach the HR manager.

Approaching the HR Manager in Work Mediation

If you find that your workplace issue cannot be resolved after speaking or not speaking with the supervisor, then you can turn to the Human Resources manager. The HR role is designed to engage work mediation in important issues of employee management, and they are trained for this role. Make an appointment to see the HR manager and prepare for the discussion with evidence in the form of documents or self-reports, phone images, or first-hand accounts from a colleague. Occasionally, an employee who needs work mediation will find a stone-wall even from HR management and this is when you can approach your Union Representative.

Approaching a Union Representative in Work Mediation

The Union Representative is perhaps your strongest advocate in workplace negotiations. An employee should not refrain from pursuing a Union Representative because they think their work issue is too insignificant to matter. Work mediation is part of the legislation and regulations of any business and unions are there to represent employees even if they are the underdog. Once again, when you’ve made an appointment to see the Union Representative, bring evidence to support your case and even ask a friendly colleague to accompany you.

If the business you work for is small and without HR or upper management, then you can still approach a Union Representative for the employment role you occupy. These representatives can be found online and are willing to assist you with your employment issue. Negotiating the best outcomes in work mediation requires advocacy and every employee is worthwhile member of a team.