Employee disputes in the workplace
Employee disputes happen in every workplace and can be highly complicated and unpleasant. If these issues are not addressed they can continue in the workplace and cause unnecessary costs to the employer and organisation. Successful workplace investigations can achieve a resolution and arm you with the right information.
What are workplace investigations?
In some situations we investigate possible breaches of workplace laws. When there is a possible workplace disciplinary, the employer or an independent person should find out all they reasonably can about an issue. Such issues should not be ignored.
During a workplace investigation evidence is collected and examined. This process provides insights on whether Australian workplace laws apply to the people involved, whether the law is being followed and, if not, what needs to be done to fix it.
When we investigate
When a complaint is made about alleged harassment, bullying or discriminatory behaviour an informal response is not appropriate. Each workplace investigation requires a different approach depending on the nature of the allegation and the organisation.
An organisation may need to initiate a workplace investigation if:
- The organisation does not have suitable skills or resources available
- An organisation’s HR person is unable to undertake the investigation process objectively or does not have the training
- Workplace issues become abusive
- The investigation involves senior employees
- It is required of an organisation by a third party
So, if you are looking for a reputable mediator who has completed many workplace investigations, Meaning Mediation can help. Our team has a diverse background in law, psychology and counselling and understands the legal issues concerning the workplace.
How can workplace investigations help me?
Workplace investigation consultants conduct an impartial investigation typically on issues such as bullying, harassment, discrimination, fraud or unethical behaviour at work. They can also make comments on any apparent breaches of policy and recommend post-investigation support strategies for employees to adopt when moving forward.
To get a better understanding, workplace investigators can help you:
- Reduce the risk of disciplinary action
- Address the complaint in a timely and effective manner
- Deliver procedural fairness for all parties
- Ensure compliance with relevant legal and regulatory frameworks
- Avoid distracting senior employees from their core responsibilities
- Minimise confusion and distraction of staff
- Generate reliable facts which allows you to make constructive decisions
Where to get help during an investigation?
If you have questions or concerns during a workplace investigation, it’s best to contact someone that is neutral and doesn’t represent your organisation’s employers or employees. At Meaningful Mediation we can provide advice on workplace rights and obligations.
Should I seek a lawyer during workplace investigations?
Employees or employers can also take their own legal action if needed by seeking independent legal advice or using the small claims court process. If you need support by experts who understand the complexities of workplace disputes, our team can help.
What happens during a workplace investigation?
During a workplace investigation process evidence is collected which can prove or disprove a matter at hand. These matters are investigated thoroughly and with discretion. As these documents will be considered as evidence, it’s expected that the information provided is accurate.
The next step is to review and assess the evidence to identify whether further exploration is necessary. The complainant and respondent are provided with the opportunity to review and comment on any evidence that is inconsistent or contradictory. Once all evidence has been analysed, conclusions can be drawn and findings can be made on any apparent breach of workplace policies and procedures.
Finally, an investigation report is written which clearly sets out the allegations and findings. Following that, the most appropriate outcomes will be decided. Once the investigation has been completed post-investigation support strategies may be recommended to help rebuild working relationships after an investigation.
At Meaningful Mediation we believe that investigations should be impartial, confidential and fair to employees.
Who should conduct workplace investigations?
When investigating workplace complaints managers may not have the training, experience or time to conduct workplace investigations. With that being said, if an investigation is being conducted by an organisation’s employee, there is a risk of perceived bias towards either the complainant or the accused employee. Contracting a workplace investigation consultant can be a practical, efficient and cost-effective alternative.
Why Choose Meaningful Mediation
When conflict is mismanaged it can cause great harm to an organisation. At Meaningful Mediation, our team has experienced first hand the complexities of workplace conflict. We work with clients to mitigate the risk of workplace conflict and focus on responsive and respectful solutions.
Our team redefines co-workers relationships so that employees are able to feel comfortable and supported in the workplace after a conflict has occurred. We work with team leaders, senior staff and partners to better understand their employees and better manage them when conflict arises.
How we work
When you enlist in our services, we will conduct an individual appointment where we can get a comprehensive understanding of the situation from both parties. By doing so, we will determine whether mediation is appropriate. Once both parties have agreed on this, we can then determine the most suitable way of facilitating the mediation session.
The next step is mediation which enables both parties to discuss topics in a non-judgemental and confidential environment. We understand the strain that toxic behaviour and workplace bullying can have on individuals which is why we believe in resolving these disputes in a respectful, ethical and timely manner.
After mediation, our team will provide a report to the organisation with specific recommendations that are tailored to your workplace.
The report may include the following:
- Time/dates of Meaningful Mediation’s engagement by employer
- Development of organisational values and goals
- Healthier working relationships
- Ways to improve work culture
- Training and future workshop facilitation
So, if you’re in need, our team can help resolve workplace conflict in a cost-effective way that provides an opportunity for growth.
Workplace investigation in legal & financial firms
Unlike other dispute resolution professionals, some of our mediators have previously worked in law and financial firms. We understand the conflict that can occur in such environments and focus on responsive and respectful solutions. Are you experiencing complex issues in a workplace within the legal or financial industry? Why not talk with our team of experts to see what they can do for you.
How much does workplace mediation cost?
When considering costs, workplace mediation is significantly less expensive than loss of productivity within your organisation, attrition amongst staff, hiring a lawyer and proceeding to court. It is typically a much faster process than litigation and avoids emotional implications that contribute to reduced profitability. Our mediators at Meaningful Mediation have extensive legal knowledge and investigation experience. We can attend to your situation swiftly and thoroughly.
Strategies to resolve conflict in the workplace
Disagreements in the workplace are inevitable and in some cases can provide healthy outcomes. However, if a conflict is not managed professionally it can lead to loss of productivity, high turnover and workplace complaints. If it is not controlled, it could also damage the organisation’s reputation.
To assist workplace disputes from escalating, office conflict resolution strategies may include:
- Understanding the situation: By investigating both sides, this can help to settle the conflict.
- Acknowledge the issue: Acknowledging the issue at hand is an important step in resolving conflict.
- Focus on the issue at hand: In situations like this, it’s best to focus on identifying and resolving the conflict rather than the individual involved.
- Communication: The ultimate goal in workplace conflict resolution is for both parties to resolve the issue at hand. Therefore, expressing their viewpoints may help both individuals pinpoint the real issue causing the conflict.
- Collaborating: This can only happen if both parties are assertive and cooperative.
At Meaningful Mediation, we put decision-making in your hands. We provide specialised communication and negotiation strategies which facilitate constructive conversations on disagreements and disputes.
Have you been searching “workplace investigations Brisbane”? Our team of experienced mediators have completed many workplace mediations and investigations in the Brisbane region and specialise in Queensland services. We also offer services in NSW, Perth, Victoria and the Gold Coast. Enquire today to discuss your situation with a trusted mediator.