Putting the workplace back together again.

A major trauma in the workplace, such as an investigation, a complaint of bullying or harassment, employee terminations, or organizational change, can be a devastating experience for management and employees. Broken relationships, stress, anger, confusion, fear and distrust can be just some of the emotions experienced. Such emotions make it difficult for people to want to come to work each day, much less be productive and creative, and key staff may be lost as a result.

Through the Workplace Restoration process, we help organizations put the workplace back together again, relieve the tension, restore employee relationships and confidence, and move on after experiencing a stressful event.

While it might seem impossible now, your workplace will again be one where people are happy to come to work, eager to communicate constructively with their fellow employees, feel empowered to bring forth new ideas, and give their best every day and into the future.

When to consider Workplace Restoration:

If there has been a complaint of bullying or harassment, workplace restoration may be the next step after an investigation.

Anytime discord takes place in the workplace, where relationships have broken down or teams are not longer able to work well together, a restoration can help to restore good relations before it escalates to the point of employee terminations, legal actions or other extremes.

When considering extensive organizational change, it’s a good idea to include workplace restoration and be proactive on any workplace discord, tension and distrust that may take place as a result.

What is the Workplace Restoration Process?

Workplace restoration usually begins with an assessment and a recommended plan of action.

During the assessment, we interview management and staff and review your current policies regarding conflict resolution. We ask, “What happened here?” and “What could happen differently to avert or heal from a traumatic event?” We recommend a plan of action for restoring harmony in your workplace, and establish a process to deal with potential future events.

Depending on the nature of the conflict, the plan of action may include the following:

  • Mediation: When two or more individuals are in conflict, mediation can be a good option. The goal of mediation is to build understanding and communication, along with a specific agreement on how to deal with concerns. We create a safe space, help the people in conflict communicate more effectively about their areas of disagreement, and support them to develop an understanding. With mediation, the healing can begin in the team by improving their work relationship.
  • Group Process Facilitation:  Conflict in the workplace often impacts many people. In these situations, we recommend a large group process.  A group process often focuses on promoting dialogue about difficult topics, improving relationships in a team or workplace, and addressing specific tensions within a group.
  • Pre-mediation Coaching: Sometimes parties to a mediation need additional support to get them ready to talk and communicate with each other, and to participate successfully in a negotiation. We offer one-on-one pre-mediation coaching to help people define their objectives, consider their options, and prepare emotionally and logistically for the mediation.
  • Conflict Management Coaching: We work one-on-one with people who are affected by a conflict and help them develop and practice the skills to approach conflict in their lives and workplaces more effectively. If required, we also help managers develop the skills necessary to manage conflict in the workplace. Skills include constructive communication and feedback, understanding diverse perspectives, emotional intelligence, and problem solving.
  • Policy Review: We often review conflict resolution policies and procedures, and offer suggestions to make them more specific, effective, and reflective of the needs of the organization. We want to make sure that people understand clearly how to bring issues forward in the future.  Policy review often goes in tandem with training to ensure everyone in the organization understands the new policies.
  • Workshops and Training: Workplace training is  an important part of a conflict resolution process.  Topics may include: constructive communication; working with different personalities and work styles; understanding human rights or conflict resolution policies and processes; conflict resolution and negotiation; equity and inclusion; preparing for difficult conversations; emotional awareness and literacy; and many other topics, depending on the needs of the workplace.

After the recommendations have been implemented, there is an evaluation to make sure the process has been successful. This often involves checking in with key people via interviews, focus groups or surveys, to assess what feels successful and where there may still be areas for improvement. The evaluation may lead to further recommendations.