Agree has an unparalleled depth and breadth of experience in dealing with workplace issues. This allows us to introduce a dispute resolution process that is the "right next step" for your workplace. As experts in mediation, conflict resolution, negotiation, and group facilitation, we can draw from a variety of approaches to tailor a solution to your workplace matter.
Our approach recognizes that for everything from a two party mediation to a large group restoration to be successful, the outcome needs to deal not only with the “presenting problem” giving rise to the dispute, but must also deal with the underlying drivers of conflict that caused the problem in the first place.
We look to resolve not only the problem that brought the matter to management’s attention, but also to begin to rebuild relationships, along with everyone’s capacity to effectively handle any future issues that arise.
Some of the specific processes we offer include:
Workplace Assessment and Remediation:
- Agree will select and apply a wide range of techniques, including interviews, focus groups or survey tools to determine what the underlying causes of the conflict are;
- Prepare an Assessment Report based upon one of a number of diagnostic models with a clear explanation of our findings and recommendations;
- Carry out any necessary interventions which may include, team capacity building, relationship by objective workshops, training, coaching and/or mediation(s);
Working in both union and non-union environments, we work with union, HR and management representatives to:
- Develop a Mediation Agreement that provides clear ground rules and a safe environment for the parties;
- Interview the parties to screen for harassment or other issues which may influence the design and success of the mediation;
- Serve as an independent, impartial mediator;
- Provide Progress Notes to the parties to keep the process on track;
- Report to management as agreed with the parties’ and as defined by the Mediation Agreement;
- Follow up to support the parties’ working relationship and objectives post-mediation to ensure the resolution stays on track.
Team Restoration Processes and Relationship Partnering
Team Restoration workshops are used in situations where the workplace community needs to address complex issues or requires a re-setting of the community norms around respect and civility, or interdependencies and accountabilities. This intervention would also be appropriate to provide growth experiences for each member of the team and build a cohesive working team.
The Agree Consultant will meet with the organization representative to discuss the background, goals and objectives for the work unit. A workplace assessment is often the first step to discover the underlying drivers of conflict, and make informed recommendations on next steps. A Team Restoration process can also be conducted in concert with other interventions such as mediation between specific individuals, conflict coaching or training.
Work units, departments or organizations often need to collaborate effectively on joint projects, or to re-set priorities as a result of amalgamation or change. We facilitate workplace partnering processes that jointly build and help maintain all key aspects of critical ongoing relationships within the organization. This approach follows the 4 Stage Partnering model successfully used by organizations in a very wide range of settings, such as joint ventures, union/management relationships, inter-departmental collaborations, project teams, etc.
Fact-finding and Investigation:
Agree can provide organizations with an independent and neutral third-party to investigate employee complaints. Agree investigators are experienced in conducting investigations into allegations under the Ontario Human Rights Code, workplace harassment (Bill 168) and poisoned work environment. An Agree Investigator will:
- Meet with management representatives to obtain a briefing on the situation and to establish clear mutual expectations regarding scope;
- Review the Complaint and any Responses;
- Conduct interviews with the parties and any witnesses or necessary experts;
- Gather and review any policies and available documentation;
- Prepare a Report outlining the fact-finding process and the basis for our findings;
- And, if requested, a Management Letter which would contain systemic observations which may be valuable to assist management in modifying policy or practice to prevent a recurrence.
Conflict Systems Design
Re-occurring disputes may signal the need for a review of your conflict management system. We provide a comprehensive analysis with realistic recommendations for a design to meet your unique needs.
Agree has offered these services to a wide variety of businesses, employee associations and unions, as well as to municipal, provincial and federal government and agencies.
If you want to learn more about how Agree's workplace services could assist in your organization, simply call Agree and provide the particulars by phone.