What an Ombuds Does

The Ombuds Office Does:

  • Listen and discuss workplace questions, concerns and complaints
  • Offer a SAFE place to discuss your concerns
  • Open channels of workplace communication
  • Informally investigate complaints
  • Help evaluate various options to address workplace concerns
  • Answer questions concerning appropriate channels
  • Explain MCW policies and procedures
  • Facilitate communication between people
  • Advise individuals about steps to resolve problems informally
  • Advise individuals about formal and administrative options
  • Make appropriate referrals when informal options don't work
  • Discuss patterns and trends of concern with MCW leadership
  • Provide feedback regarding MCW policies

The Ombuds Office Does Not:

  • Participate in formal grievance processes
  • Conduct formal investigations
  • Make administrative decisions for MCW administrators
  • Determine "guilt" or "innocence"
  • Assign sanctions to individuals
  • Serve as witness in any administrative or legal proceedings, except in rare instances when compelled to do so
  • Receive official "notice" for MCW about issues
  • Maintain records that identify visitors to the office

How Might an Ombuds Help?

  • By helping to develop and evaluate options or courses of action and by assisting visitors in knowing how to pursue an option
  • By helping to clarify and address a workplace conflict
  • By coaching visitors about how an issue or concern may be approached more effectively
  • By helping to surface information when people are afraid to come forward in the workplace
  • By looking into a problem informally (with permission) and, when appropriate, presenting options to the visitor or others
  • By identifying dispute resolution alternatives for people who seek options and by referring individuals to appropriate services
  • By assisting in dispute resolution by bringing together the parties involved in order to assist them in reaching their own agreement
  • By recommending systems change to appropriate individuals