Workplace, Employment and Organisational Resolution

The team

Brendan Schütte

Team Convener

ASM Plus’s Workplace, Employment and Organisational Resolution Team supports all employers and employees with a range of approaches to address work related disputes, conflicts and disagreements:
Instructing a member of our team to assist will

  • Help ensure that disputes that otherwise might take months or years to resolve can be justly and fairly addressed in a few weeks
  • Save you hours of time that could be put to better use and avoid considerable amounts of stress
  • Save you considerable sums of money in legal, court and tribunal fees
  • Save you considerable amounts of form filling and paperwork

Following an initial discussion, we will advise as to the most appropriate option for the timely cost-effective resolution of difficulties that may have arisen. We offer a range of services that are tailored to the needs of individual cases both online and face to face:

  • Mediation
  • Investigation
  • Facilitated meetings
  • Neutral evaluation
  • Critical thinking
  • Training
  • Coaching
  • A unique one-hour online dispute triage service that pauses conflict prior to a longer-term effective solution

Our team is based in both the UK and Ireland to provide rapid services face to face. We can provide this service as a ‘virtual offering’ in any territory that your organisation has an operation or, by special arrangement, we can travel to provide a face-to-face service. Our team members are all highly experienced, qualified, senior practitioners who share ASM Plus’s ethical approach to the resolution of discord.

Workplace covers all disputes involving employers and employees during the term of employment. This includes conflicts affecting individuals or teams resulting from the COVID Job Retention Scheme, perceived inconsistency of treatment, disputes involving discrimination, harassment or bullying, grievances, appeals, compromise agreement and redundancy negotiations. Mediation is a highly effective tool, particularly where the parties recognise the advantage of reaching a solution whereby both parties can continue their working or business relationship or seek to have a mutually acceptable swift solution to a dispute.

Service Contracts for individuals often performing a role on an interim basis or a Non-Executive role. These contracts would generally be considered to be “commercial” contracts. If your dispute involves a ‘Service Contract’ please contact the ASM Plus facilitator Paul Sandford who will ensure that your dispute is addressed by the best blend of the ASM Plus Commercial and Employment teams. Such cases can also be resolved through mediation.

Employment disputes cover all workplace matters from the point at which the employee ceases to have an employment contract with the organisation and include unfair dismissal claims that may have reached the stage of tribunal proceedings. These cases can also be resolved through mediation.

Investigation and Appeals service – This is a service we offer that provides an objective, impartial and independent investigation into the events that led to a dispute, or to determine the accuracy or validity of any allegations or potential whistleblowing claims made against an employee, company officer or their actions. A carefully written report will provide conclusions on ‘case to answer’. We are able to identify the potential root cause of a dispute and provide recommendations to all parties involved to avoid or reduce the risk of such a dispute reoccurring. We often find that having a ‘neutral’ perspective on this takes some of the heat away from the dispute and enables parties to focus more effectively upon the issues.

Neutral Evaluation – The Neutral Evaluation process is used to better understand complex workplace situations and dynamics, or to find a way forward in situations where an organisation does not have a clear procedure or plan to resolve particular issues. Examples include poor team functioning, intra-organisational conflict, chronic grievance history and group tensions/disagreement impacting on performance.

The facilitator leads informal interviews with staff and gathers other information, in order to present a situation report (‘sit rep’). This will be presented without any personal judgement or blame, no-one’s direct comments will be attributed to them, and what is said is confidential. The facilitator will draw up themes to highlight if there is a pattern, which may need to be examined.

The aim of the process is to evaluate the best way forward and the facilitator will only recommend what is appropriate for the situation. It is then the organisation’s decision whether or not to act on particular recommendations.

Training and Coaching – Training can be provided in mediation and in conflict avoidance or conflict resolution skills at different levels ranging from a 1-day introduction to a 7-day certificate. Coaching in conflict skills and in understanding one’s own approach to dealing with conflict is also available.

Team Relationship Coaching – A form of Systems Coaching, Team Relationship Coaching is an intervention to help teams work more effectively together and improve team dynamics. It is relevant for any organisation where people work with other people, from small two-person partnerships to large corporates. Examples of where it can be very effective are when teams are going through change; when there is a need to break down silos between different departments; or when creating a common vision after a team has recently formed or merged with another. The coach works with the whole team entity rather than with individuals and deploys a range of easily understood but nonetheless effective coaching tools to promote greater alignment and understanding between team members.

This type of coaching can help underperforming teams to become more effective, as well as unlocking the full potential of higher performing teams and individuals. Ultimately, the objective is to optimise the collective intelligence and creativity of the team to drive business performance.

Critical Thinking Training – using the skills of critical thinking in a many, including decision making. Courses can be tailored to the needs of clients in terms of duration and focus.

ASM Plus’s one-hour online dispute triage service aims to reach a pause in the dispute to prevent the incident accelerating, enabling time to investigate the dispute in a rational manner and enabling the organisation to continue its operations. This does not aim to reach a lasting solution but provides a mechanism to ‘park’ the dispute whilst a more comprehensive analysis and investigation takes place. To avoid uncertainty, we would seek to schedule a time for the more comprehensive resolution to be addressed.

The online facility that ASM Plus offers means that mediations and facilitated meetings can be convened at very short notice using software such as Skype, Zoom or Teams. This means that disputes that might otherwise become very long and drawn out, or may not even be addressed at all, can be resolved in a matter of days or weeks rather than months or years.

Contact us. At first instance please contact our Director, Paul Sandford for a confidential without obligation discussion. He will be delighted to talk through matters with you and will arrange for a member of the team to contact you and advise on the best way forward.

The ASM Plus Workplace, Employment and Investigation Service is led by:

Brendan Schütte
UK and Irish accredited workplace mediator, investigator, trainer and coach with particular expertise in the field of neutral evaluation
“Brendan has proven himself to be a consummate professional, an expert mediator/investigator, a highly effective consultant and an inspiring trainer. Brendan brings intuition and insight to the rest of his team – his expertise is often understated but is self-evident in all that he does. Brendan is great fun to work with and someone who I have come to trust and rely on.”
Paul Sandford Paul Sandford
Director of ASM Plus, Mediator, Facilitator, Investigator, Trainer and Retired Tribunal Judge and Solicitor
“Paul is a highly skilled professional mediator. He helped us resolve a really difficult issue with skill and humour. I can’t recommend him highly enough.”
Russell Shackleton
UK Accredited Mediator, Facilitator, Master of Business Administration (MBA) Business Expert, Trainer, Coach, and Qualified Financial Times Non-Executive Director
“Russ was quick to understand what we do, the way our business gets things done and some of the livelier personalities. His very positive approachable attitude, and application to the task in hand got results.”
Roy van den Brink-Budgen
world renowned critical thinker, Facilitator and Business Adviser.
“The importance of clear and productive thinking that using a critical thinking approach can deliver was very much highlighted in Roy’s work with us”
Nicole Godetz
Mediator, Facilitator, Business Adviser, Coach and Educational Specialist
“The ultimate professional, with a splash of humour and oodles of patience but delivers a first-class service, whatever she does. She has my vote every time.”
Claire Jarvis
“She has a high degree of emotional intelligence and has a natural style, which generates empathy and rapport, bridging difficult situations and putting people at their ease. Her hard-won business experience combined with her skills in bringing together differing perspectives to build consensus make her a powerful and insightful person to work with in any situation.”
Joanne Phillips
“Joanne is amazing! She is an absolutely phenomenal person, who possesses great listening skills and has a very calming soothing tone to her voice.’
You can tell Joanne comes from a place of concern, for the well-being of all parties; by the professional way that she delivers each session”
Menahem Kanafi
“Chuck…[d]oes what is necessary to balance out his self-evident (and expected) “legalistic” tendencies along with his high diplomatic capabilities, as against the many other challenges that exist in the mediation space…. [with] a balanced professional personality, both soft and assertive at the same time, alternately clear and ambiguous as needed. [He employs a] wonderful use of humour to lower the tension in the room.”