Citywide Peer Mediation Program

Join Our First Cohort of Peer Mediators!

Introducing a new City program sponsored by DHR in close collaboration with the HSS and in partnership with all City Departments

Program Mission

To promote a positive, healthy work environment where parties are empowered to restore their relationships through a collaborative problem-solving process facilitated by a neutral third party.

About Program

The goal of the Peer Mediation Program is to promote a positive, healthy work environment for all the City's employees. This program is designed to facilitate face-to-face conversations between employees who experience conflict in a forum where all voices can be equally heard and relationships restored. The City desires to provide a process where employees work collaboratively in resolving workplace conflicts at the lowest level possible so that problems do not escalate. Conflicts will be mediated confidentially by volunteer, trained Peer Mediators comprised of City employees.

The Program focuses on:

  • Empowering employees to resolve workplace conflicts at the lowest level possible
  • Providing a safe space for employees to be heard
  • Building trust and relationships necessary for a healthy work environment

Mediation Sessions will be facilitated by volunteer, trained Peer Mediators made up of existing City employees. To create a safe and neutral space where both parties can speak and be heard equally, mediations sessions will be facilitated by a mediator that is outside of participants’ management chain. With a focus on diversity and inclusion, Peer Mediators will represent different job classifications, cultural backgrounds, language abilities, job shifts, and work locations.

Become a Peer Mediator

We are preparing for a soft launch of the program in Spring of 2021 and are looking for our first cohort of Peer Mediators. Employees of all backgrounds and experiences are encouraged to apply. Previous experience in mediation is not required.

As a Peer Mediator, you will:

  • Learn and practice key mediation techniques
  • Receive release time to mediate sessions during work hours
  • Develop excellent communication, listening, and facilitation skills
  • Help your peers resolve conflicts
  • Advance your emotional intelligence, interpersonal, and leadership skills
  • Create a work environment that is more welcoming and inclusive for our diverse workforce

Eligibility Requirement

  • Peer Mediators must have at least 1 year of working experience with the City.

Application and Selection Process

  1. Application Form
  2. Applications are open December 8th – 22th 2020 and can be found below:
    Citywide Peer Mediation Program – Peer Mediators Application Form

    The form includes a few open-ended questions and takes approximately 15-20 minutes to complete. We suggest that you look through the form and answer the open-ended questions in a Word document and copy and paste your answers into the form as you will not be able to save your progress.

    Supervisor approval and department HR review is required to serve as a Peer Mediator. You will be asked in your application to provide the name and contact of your supervisor. Your supervisor will receive a signoff form directly from us outlining the program objectives and commitments.

    We will also be asking for three references who can provide feedback on your interpersonal skills such as but not limited to active listening, collaboration, relationship building, and empathy. Please include at least one professional reference that could speak to your experience with these skills in the workplace.

  3. Interview
  4. Candidates will be invited to do an interview with the mediation panel in January.

  5. Selection
  6. Selected mediators will be notified January.

Mediation Training

Peer Mediators will receive extensive mediation training conducted by DHR and HSS to best equip them with the skills and techniques necessary to be successful. Trainings is scheduled for a series of half days in February and will cover.

  • Foundation Training (i.e. Basic Communication, Cross Cultural Communication, Implicit Bias)
  • Mediation Training
  • Training of relevant City policies and procedure

There is no financial cost to you or your department to in participating in these trainings.

Time Commitment

Selected Peer Mediators will not be expected to spend more than 10% of their work time in a month mediating cases. We do ask that that you commit 18 months of mediation service to the City.

Confidentiality

In line with our confidentiality practice and policy, Peer Mediators are expected to adhere to our confidentiality guidelines. This includes an agreement to not discuss any content outside of the mediation sessions. More information about our confidentiality policy will be shared at a later date.

Peer Mediators - Supervisor/Manager FAQs

If your employee is interested in serving as a Peer Mediator, please download our Supervisor/Manager FAQ sheet for answers to some frequently asked questions.

Contact

For additional information, please contact our Peer Mediation Program Manager Joyce Ganthavorn at joyce.ganthavorn@sfgov.org or (415) 557-4988.