In a general sense, a workplace ombudsman is a neutral party appointed by an organisation to provide conflict and dispute resolution support. An organisational ombudsman offers independent, confidential, impartial and informal support for employees and managers within the organisation – Ombudsmen advocate for the principles of fairness and equity rather than individuals, groups or organisations.
Based on a proven international model, Ombpoint is Australia’s first workplace ombudsman service and provides a valued service to employers and employees by delivering an early intervention service for workplace conflict. Whilst Ombpoint is provided by the employer, the confidential nature of the service allows employees to explore solutions to workplace issues and conflict without the employer being aware of the enquiry.
Yes, Ombpoint is based on a proven international model. Whilst the concept is new to Australia, the independent workplace ombudsman represents a growing worldwide trend and is widely recognised as the hallmark of an ethical organisation. In Australia, Ombpoint provides a new pathway to help organisations create and maintain a constructive and healthy workplace culture.
With significant uptake in the USA, Canada and Europe, the organisational workplace ombudsman model is already delivering value and fostering stronger cultures for a diverse range of major multinational organisations.
The word ombudsman derives from ombudsmand, an Old Norse word originating in Northern Europe, that means representative. Traditionally an ombudsperson, ombud, or public advocate is an official appointed to investigate and address complaints on behalf of the public. The role has had a place in societies throughout history, dating back to the Roman Empire, the Qin Dynasty in China and the Joseon Dynasty in Korea.
In Australia, the ombudsman role is often a public official appointed to oversee complaints concerning specific sectors and government departments. For instance, the Commonwealth Ombudsman is charged with investigating complaints about the actions and decisions of Australian Government agencies.
As an independent organisational workplace ombudsman, Ombpoint is an external provider, appointed by both private and public organisations.
By delivering an independent, impartial, confidential and informal service, Ombpoint removes the barriers that prevent employees from raising issues or seeking counsel that are affecting their performance and engagement. As a trusted adviser, we empower employees to navigate a path toward healthy problem solving and conflict resolution by outlining clear, actionable steps.
Internal Human Resources are often faced with the dilemma of being responsible for managing risks in their organisation as well as the wellbeing of its employees, responsibilities which do not always neatly align. This can create challenges to the effective management of employee concerns or maintaining independence in organisation where you know all of the parties. Often, employees feel that the traditional routes available to them do not meet their needs and do not feel they have a safe space to discuss workplace issues without triggering a formal response.
Early workplace conflict intervention is a proactive solution that can prevent issues from escalating and provide opportunities to strengthen culture and drive performance. While workplace conflict can be harnessed to drive positive outcomes, left unmanaged, the negative impact of conflict is inevitable. The cost of conflict is a complex algorithm that considers the time wasted, opportunities lost, absenteeism, lack of discretionary effort, staff turnover, workers compensation claims and legal support as an early intervention solution. Ombpoint supports individuals with their problem solving and conflict management and they provide aggregated trend reporting to the organisation, whilst respecting confidentiality and anonymity.
No, we do not conduct formal mediation proceedings. Ombpoint works to manage conflict within your organisation by providing employees with a safe space to discuss workplace issues. The Ombpoint adviser will suggest resources and provide actionable steps to help the employee resolve the conflict internally.
Should a professional mediator be recommended, we can direct you to our trusted partner, Azuhr, with whom we have a strong affiliation.
An EAP is an employee benefit program that assists employees with personal or work-related problems that may impact their health, mental and emotional wellbeing. It is focused on psychological support for employees. By contrast, Ombpoint is focused on assisting employees resolve workplace conflict issues by providing them with tools and strategies to address those issues internally.
No, we are not a whistle-blower service. Ombpoint is the only company in Australia that delivers effective early intervention workplace conflict resolution solutions. Where serious workplace misconduct is reported, Ombpoint consultants will advise employees of their internal company reporting options. For further information, please refer to the Ombpoint Charter.
Ombpoint helps organisations by:
- Empowering employees
We empower employees by providing a safe space for them to speak out and work toward resolving their issues.
- Navigating and facilitating
Our trusted advisers are skilled at helping employees navigate complex workplace conflict situations.
- Building relationships
We help build and strengthen relationships between individuals, managers, teams and organisational departments.
- Building culture
Empowered employees and strong relationships create resilient teams that build a constructive and healthy organisational culture.
- Analysing and reporting
Our data-driven analysis identifies systemic trends and risks to help directors and leaders make informed decisions.
- Mitigating risk
Our best practice workplace conflict solution helps public and private sector organisations anticipate and avoid risk, litigation and reputational damage.
- Reducing formal complaints
Early intervention can reduce the number of formal complaints, saving managers and leaders valuable time managing and resolving workplace conflict.
No. Ombpoint does not conduct workplace investigations. Ombpoint’s role is to help employees navigate a path toward healthy conflict resolution by outlining clear, actionable steps, without resorting to formal complaint mechanisms. Where appropriate, the Ombpoint adviser will provide additional support and guide the employee through the steps to make a formal complaint with their internal HR department.
Should you need to conduct a workplace investigation, Azuhr, with whom we have a strong affiliation, can work with you.
Ombpoint has a range of different pricing options to suit the size and need of the organisation. The service provided will include access for all employees to contact Ombpoint’s team of trusted advisors, as well as the provision of introductory materials for managers and promotional material for employees.
For additional services, Azuhr, with whom we have a strong affiliation, can support you with investigations, mediation and conflict resolution training on a fee for service basis.
As an independent platform, the Ombpoint model is built around guaranteeing employee confidentiality. Only information that can be aggregated in a manner that maintains anonymity will be provided to the organisation as part of the ongoing trend reporting. At no time do we disclose individual details to the organisation.