Sometimes, employees may want or need to speak confidentially with a third-party in order to address a sensitive workplace issue or problem. While Human Resources or industrial relations staff may seem an appropriate choice, many employees will nonetheless feel uncomfortable approaching someone within their own organization. The Integrity Group’s External Ombuds Service solves this dilemma.
An ombudsperson (the traditional term being “ombudsman”) is a neutral dispute resolution practitioner whose primary mandate is to provide confidential and informal assistance to all levels of staff within an organization. An ombudsperson uses a variety of resolution skills including counseling, mediation, and informal fact-finding. The ombudsperson functions outside the ordinary management structure and has access to everyone within the organization, including officers and executives, identifying and addressing issues in a confidential and neutral environment. Often guided by written terms of reference, an ombudsperson also follows an internal ethical framework and applicable standards of practice.
The ombudsperson function is a long-proven means of protecting against and addressing improper treatment or unfairness in the workplace; while they sometimes employed directly by an organization on a full-time or part-time basis, The Integrity Group’s external ombuds services are provided through an external contractor whose strict independence gives additional confidence and comfort to the parties. In addition, all of The Integrity Group’s ombudspeople are accredited by the International Ombudsman Association.
For more information about the role of one of The Integrity Group’s External Ombudspersons in your organization, please contact us at 604.689.4244.