The mission of the Employee Relations function within the Office of Human Resources is to provide exemplary customer services to both employees and managers to foster a collaborative work environment. Employee Relations focuses on promoting good workplace behaviors that are respectful, reasonable and responsible.
Employee Relations serves as a resource for both managers and employees. To assist with concerns relating to employee relations, the Office of Human Resources has four designated representatives to assist.
Conflict is a normal part of every public and private human interaction. It promotes intellectual discussion, and is an opportunity to facilitate change. There are many alternatives in resolving conflict so the method chosen can maximize the potential outcomes while minimizing human, institutional, and social costs.
Georgia College is a community where collegiality, trust, and collaboration are encouraged. The resolution of conflict at the lowest possible level allows our campus to inspire an environment for the best in education, teaching, research, and service.
The major goal of Mediation is to make the institution more respectful of human relationships, and more effective in fostering communication in our students, faculty, and staff.
What is Mediation?
Mediation is a method of dispute resolution that allows two or more parties to discuss in a voluntary, informal, structured way, solutions to issues by generating options and coming to a mutually acceptable agreement with the assistance of a neutral third party (mediator). Mediation is available to all faculty, staff, and students.
- A commitment to a voluntary approach
- A willingness to identify and discuss issues
- A clarification of roles, responsibilities, and expectations
- A consistent approach
- Encouraging exchange between parties
- Creating realistic solutions
- Working out mutual agreements and options
- Honoring confidentiality
Mediation is not…
- A legal proceeding
- A replacement for the disciplinary system
- A place for judgments
- A public airing
What Does a Mediator Do?
The mediator is available to assist individuals in reaching a mutual settlement. In facilitating the process, the mediator may suggest alternatives for the resolution of a dispute but will not impose a judgement on the issues.
- Encourage the respectful exchanges of information
- Identify new information
- Help parties to understand each other’s views
- Restate the identified issues and interest
- Promote a productive level of communication
- Identify differences in perceptions and interests between parties
- Encourage flexibility
Frequently Asked Questions
Would I have to go through mediation before filing a formal grievance?
No. Mediation is a recommended alternative process and individuals are strongly encouraged to solve differences at the least invasive level. Filling a grievance is one alternative – but not usually found to be the most positive recourse.
What if I’m not satisfied with the results of mediation?
Individuals may continue formal grievance procedures consistent with Georgia College policies.
Are there trained mediators on campus?
Yes. Several individuals on campus (both faculty and staff) have been trained in mediation. Contact the Office of Human Resources for assistance.
Will my inquiries be held in confidence?
Usual or normal mediations are held in confidence, with only the parties knowing the specific situation. Exceptions include those situations where there are allegations of illegal activities. In such situations, outside experts are notified.
For more information regarding these services, please feel to contact:
Carol Ward, PHR, SHRM-CP
Associate Director of Human Resources, Employee Relations and Leave Administration