Restorative Practice In The Workplace

What is Restorative Practice?

Restorative Practice (RP) is a way of thinking and being that commits to building healthy positive relationships based on respect, caring and collaboration.

RP stems from cultural traditions of indigenous people seeking to answer the question:

“How can we live and learn in a good way together with each other?”

 Restorative Practice does not focus on rule violation, blame or fault finding. Instead it focuses on support, relationship and community building.

RP is:

  • Voluntary
  • Confidential
  • Participant driven
  • Non-judgemental
  • Values based and needs led
  • Collaborative problem solving

RP is distinguished from the retributive approach by:

RETRIBUTIVE:                                 RESTORATIVE

Power Over                                              Work With

Fact Finding                                            Communication

Investigation                                            Empathy building

Blame                                                      Support

Punishment                                              Relationship Building


What are the benefits?

Restorative Practice builds sustainable relationships and resolution to conflict that parties are committed to maintain.

RP is both responsive and preventative. It reduces the need for more formal processes.

In responsive situations:

RP facilitators meet individually with participants with the intention of bringing them together once there is adequate motivation, common ground and empathy. Facilitators support communication processes with the goal that participants fully understand the impact of their actions on one another and learn to recognize and appreciate individual contexts and needs.

Once empathy and understanding are developed, participants are empowered to create their own solution together.

Reaching successful resolutions strengthens relationships and builds community which ultimately improves productivity. Restorative solutions have been proven to have longevity because they are based on deep understanding and awareness.

In preventative situations:

RP processes empower participants and build community by developing voice and choice.

People are valued and this is evidenced as equal opportunity to contribute.

When people feel that they are recognized, respected and heard mutual understanding and community are built and conflicts decrease. 

Who Uses RP?

Management or HR professionals who value healthy relationship development and believe in the importance of clear, honest and respectful expression of feelings engage with RP processes.


Restorative facilitators are available to assist with HR issues to avoid formal complaint processes.

Outside intervention using Restorative processes is recommended when the need for relationship repair or building is great, history has developed and trust diminished.

An outside neutral third party is best positioned to encourage and support a level of personal sharing that can move participants to create transformative relationships.


RP can be introduced as a component of organizational policy and procedure.

This requires Organizational Leadership and the development of a detailed plan for training and implementation strategies.

Models can be created that are self-sustaining within organizations.

RP facilitators will support the introduction of Restorative Practices into your organization with Restoratively modelled focus groups. Strategies are collaboratively determined and staff are actively engaged throughout the process.

Training and mentoring can be provided to build self- sustaining processes.

Outside facilitator support is sometimes recommended for responsive situations.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. “(Maya Angelou)

MCSO Restorative Practice Practitioners:

Judy Tetlow    Neil Donnelly    Sandra Howgate    Maria Stebelsky     Barbara Castel