Thelma has a conciliatory manner, is respectful and a good listener these are all attributes that have ensured her success as an experienced mediator over the past 30 years.
Thelma can be in the background, advising on strategy and steps to be taken, or can play a more active role in supporting you through a mediation
Mediating between managers and employees.
This is usually related to disciplinary situations and/or performance concerns
- Sometimes communication breaks down and being an independent person, who is not emotionally involved, Thelma is able to assist in facilitating a resolution between the parties.
- Disciplinary situations brought about by perceived poor performance are very upsetting for both managers and employees and Thelma is able to quickly build rapport and assist the employee to understand what areas of performance require improvement. Sometimes there are also aspects of the manager’s performance that can also be improved. This is dealt with both privately and tactfully.
- Often Thelma is called in when a manager has procrastinated and hoped the situation would improve or the employee would leave. Usually there is an incident when the manager decides the situation cannot continue as it is and wants it addressed immediately. This often leads to the situation being dealt with in a manner that is not procedurally correct. Thelma can help rememdy these situations and put steps in place to help ensure it doesn’t occur again.
- Because the manager hasn’t addressed issues as they have come up, often the employee doesn’t realize how serious the situation is and believes that their performance is satisfactory.
- In some instances the employee accepts the employer’s offer to bring a support person with them, who can be a colleague, friend, lawyer or union representative. It is helpful to have an externall party involved on your behalf in this instance.
READ MORE about how Thelma has assisted employers in this area
- Often Thelma is called into a workplace when communication has broken down and an employee has advised they are taking a personal grievance.
- A personal grievance is upsetting for all parties, expensive and time consuming and can result in negative PR for the company.
- She will meet with both parties individually and can often establish a way through where the requirements of both are identified and a settlement negotiated.
- Often this results in a formal Agreement of Settlement which both parties sign and in most instances the agreement is registered with the Mediation Service of the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE).
Providing representation at Mediation Service hearings
- Thelma will prepare the case, ensuring all supporting information is available and compiled in the correct manner.
- She will attend mediation, either in a representative or supportive role.
- Mediation hearings, although not as formal as a hearing in the Employment Relations Authority is still very stressful for both parties.
Because of Thelma’s experience she is able to advise and give support through this process.
- On occasions the first thing the employee knows something is wrong is when they receive a letter inviting them to a disciplinary meeting. This can come as a complete shock. It is very common for us to be told by employees that they thought their manager had changed towards them, but didn’t know why.
- In the letter the employee will be offered the opportunity to bring a support person with them and often the first response is to take a family member or trusted friend. While they can offer great support, usually they are not aware of the ramifications of what is taking place in the meeting. This is where we can provide expert advice and support.
- Many employees when they contact us are distressed, aren’t sleeping and eating, are under a doctor’s care and this is impacting not only on them, but their families.
- On many occasions the person has lost their confidence and self-esteem. They don’t believe they will ever feel “normal” again and they questions their ability to find another role.
- We work together with the employee, getting them to provide as much information as possible in chronological order as to why they believe they have not been treated fairly. We ask the person to be absolutely honest, telling us anything they have done wrong (or could have done better) as well, as we don’t want any surprises.
Our goal is that by the end of the process, the employee will feel they have been heard; they have received reasonable compensation and feel they have been treated fairly and most importantly they are ready to start the next chapter of their lives.
READ MORE about how Thelma has assisted employees in this area.