Mediator for Employees
Founded in: 1983
Number of employees: 140
Case: Oakleigh Grammar
Project: Mediator for Employees
Company Profile: Oakleigh Grammar is a private school in Melbourne, Australia, founded in 1983 by people of Greek descent. There are now 750 children in the school.
Company Mission: Creating quality learning opportunities for every student to reach their full potential.
Company Values: Greek tradition, Orthodox Christian values, diversity and inclusion, excellence and effort, responsible citizenship, innovation, cheerfulness.
There is a special person in the school who defends the interests of the staff - the mediator. This is a school employee who has no special psychological training, but who enjoys authority in the team. As a rule, the mediator combines this activity with the work of a teacher.
Any employee in the school can turn to the mediator when facing a problem or a conflict. The mediator talks with the person, assesses the seriousness of the problem and decides how to proceed. If the problem can be solved at the level of the mediator, he helps the person to solve it on their own. For example, he or she can represent the interests of the employee before the school authorities or the HR department of the company. If the problem requires the involvement of a wider range of people, the mediator initiates a conflict resolution procedure by involving the HR department. An investigation is conducted where all parties to the conflict are heard. As a last resort, an outside organization can be brought in to mediate and take over the resolution of the conflict. In addition, the mediator represents the school in the teachers' union.
Ksenia Subbach, HR Officer (Generalist): “There are people in the school who are often approached by other staff members to get advice, to share their problems. As a result, we decided to make a separate position for such people, which would allow them to do these activities officially. For example, last year, there were layoffs as the number of children in the school had decreased because of the pandemic, and the mediator negotiated the payment of additional compensation for many people affected by the cuts.
The mediator acts fully on the side of the employees, defending their interests before the employer, helping to establish a channel of communication between the staff and the employer. As a result, employees feel more secure and the level of social well-being in the team increases. We didn't measure the increase in engagement, but we conducted a survey 1 year after the position was introduced, and 70% of respondents said they had used the Mediator's services in one way or another. This year, the company plans to do an eNPS survey, where one of the questions will be about the degree of satisfaction with the Mediator's work.