Location: Bowdoin / Workplace Advisors Program

Workplace Advisors Program

The Workplace Advisor Program provides a confidential, neutral, and informal process that facilitates fair and equitable resolutions to concerns that arise in the workplace. Workplace Advisors maintain strict confidentiality concerning matters that are brought to their attention.

What is a Workplace Advisor?

A Workplace Advisor is a designated neutral person available to all Bowdoin employees. The Workplace Advisor provides confidential and informal assistance to help raise and address work-related issues in an objective way. The Workplace Advisor is neither an employee advocate nor a member of management, but is a representative for fair process. The Workplace Advisor helps to develop options and provides recommendations to enable individuals to resolve issues.

Why are there Workplace Advisors?

The Workplace Advisor Program was established as a result of recommendations from the Support Staff Advocacy Committee, the Oversight Committee on the Status of Women, and the Bowdoin Administrative Steering Committee. The program provides employees a platform to bring work related concerns or problems to the attention of a confidential advisor.

Who are Workplace Advisors?

Workplace Advisors are faculty and staff members who have been nominated by their fellow employees as persons to whom they would feel comfortable speaking confidentially. Workplace Advisors have been trained in areas of communication, active listening, conflict resolution, and related topics.The Coordinator is a member of the International Ombudsman Association, a non-profit, international association whose code of ethics stress neutrality and confidentiality.

How does the Workplace Advisor Program differ from other resources at Bowdoin?

There are a variety of other resources, representing formal channels of the organization, to which you may take issues or concerns:

  • Supervisors
  • Human Resources
  • Employee Assistance Program

The Workplace Advisor Program is independent of any of Bowdoin's formal resources. Discussion with a Workplace Advisor is informal and off the record (no records are kept).

The Workplace Advisor will:

  • Remain impartial to all individuals
  • Listen to concerns
  • Keep information confidential
  • Follow up on requests for assistance
  • Provide information and coaching
  • Help identify resolution options

The Workplace Advisor will not:

  • Take sides
  • Breach confidentiality
  • Conduct formal or in-depth investigations
  • Make management decisions
  • Determine policySubstitute for the formal channels

When should I contact a Workplace Advisor?

When an individual wishes to discuss an issue or concern in total confidence with a neutral party, the Workplace Advisor Program will provide an avenue for that individual to do so. Typical concerns might include but are not limited to: concerns in which the employee is not clear who can be of assistance, specific conflict situations, ongoing conflict in work relationships, employee stress issues due to workload, family/work issues or other job stresses.

Is my identity truly confidential if I use the Workplace Advisor Program?

Conversations with a Workplace Advisor are considered privileged and made with the understanding that they will be kept confidential. A Workplace Advisor pledges strict confidentiality concerning matters brought to them unless the visitor gives the Workplace Advisor permission to talk with another person. The only exception to this pledge is if the situation involves the threat of imminent harm. Matters discussed with the Workplace Advisor are off the record and do not constitute formal notice.

How can I contact a Workplace Advisor?

There are eight Workplace Advisors available to the College community. Phone or email whomever you would feel comfortable with to discuss your situation. The Workplace Advisors have set up a confidential phone mailbox, which allows anyone to leave a message, and an advisor will contact them.

workplace advisors group
Clockwise from upper left: Craig McEwen, Steve Hyde, Delmar Small, Leanne Pander, Roy Partridge, Karen Schneider, Doris White, and Donna Trout