Queen's University IRC

Workplace Restoration

Addressing a Toxic Workplace to Rebuild Relationships and Productivity.




How do workplaces become toxic? These damaging environments often develop following a significant negative event, or because of a series of issues that slowly erode morale over time.  The results can be devastating for an organization, leading to conflicts, a loss of talented team members, and a steady decline in productivity.

The Workplace Restoration program uses role-playing exercises, case studies and facilitated discussions to help you identify, monitor and address these situations. This program is critical for organizations experiencing disruption in workplace relations, such as prolonged conflict or bullying, increasing harassment or grievance claims, leadership issues, strikes, investigations, mergers and acquisitions, terminations or significant organizational changes.


Apr 17 - Apr 21, 2023 Virtual Zoom Link will be provided after registration Apr 14 $3395
Jul 11 - Jul 13, 2023 Victoria Details will be provided after registration. Jul 06 $3,895
Nov 07 - Nov 09, 2023 Kingston Details will be provided after registration. Nov 03 $3,895


Managers, supervisors, union officials, LR and HR professionals responsible for employee relations and teams working to re-build workplace trust after a significant event.



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A poisoned workplace is one in which the behaviours of people negatively affect communication and productivity. This hostile environment has a substantial impact on trust, morale, employee retention and your bottom line. Learn how to identify the root causes and restore a healthy, respectful and productive work environment.

a) Do you know what’s really happening in your workplace?

You’ll learn how to recognize the activities, events and issues that contribute to a toxic work environment, and how to use screening tools to better understand the signs and symptoms of conflict. We’ll explore ways to communicate the assessment process and discuss methods for working with employees to get at the root of the problem.

b) Using evidenced –based data for real analysis

Using simulations and proven methodologies, you’ll have the opportunity to learn new data collection techniques to support your analysis of your workplace and identify specific causes. You’ll learn how to create surveys and reports that clearly describe problems and provide direction for a rebuilding plan.

c) Developing a collaborative action plan

Stakeholder buy-in is a critical component of your planning process. We’ll help you develop a strategy that is transparent, collaborative and builds trust. You’ll learn how to communicate the results of your assessment and the situations that are negatively impacting your organization, while providing a safe space for honest discussions that pave the way towards workplace restoration.

d) Creating your healthy workplace

Once your restoration strategy is developed, we’ll show you how to effectively implement it. You’ll learn techniques and tools for building trust and coaching champions across the organization, which will in turn increase confidence and productivity.

e) Staying the course

Ensure that your action plan is sustainable with monitoring and ongoing assessment of your work environment. We’ll provide you with measurement tools to track potential recurrences, and practice strategies for addressing resistance to change.


Anne Grant

Lead Facilitator

Dawn McDermott

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Anne Grant, Lead Facilitator

Anne Grant has practised as a full-time mediator and conflict resolution professional since 1994. Anne’s dispute resolution practice includes extensive mediation of labour and civil disputes. She specializes in the assessment and restoration of poisoned work environments as well as conducting a range of workplace investigations. Currently she is the lead facilitator for the Queen’s IRC Labour Relations Foundations, Mastering Fact-Finding and Investigation, and Workplace Restoration programs, and Past President of the ADR Institute of Ontario.

In the area of labour relations, Anne has facilitated the development of collective bargaining mandates, assisted workplace parties to implement comprehensive bumping processes, facilitated union management forums for the Workers Safety and Insurance Board and has facilitated interprovincial trade agreements to address the labour mobility of various professional groups.

Qualified in law, mediation and nursing, Anne has far-reaching experience handling toxic workplaces in the public and private sector. She provides strategies to address dysfunction at the individual, team and departmental level. Her experience includes extensive mediation of civil and labour disputes, as well as facilitation, poisoned work environment interventions and human rights investigations.

She holds the national designation of Chartered Mediator and obtained her Masters-in-Law in ADR from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1997.  In 2007, she was awarded the Ontario Bar Association’s annual Award of Excellence in ADR.

Anne is published provincially and nationally in the areas of ADR and legal issues in health care.  She is co-author of A Nurses’ Practical Guide to the Law (Canada Law Book 1997), and Dispute Resolution in the Insurance Industry, (Canada Law Book 2001).  Prior to practising mediation, she practised labour law, health care lobbying and peri-operative nursing.

Dawn McDermott

Dawn McDermott, Senior Advisor of Dispute Resolution and Support for Wilfrid Laurier University, has a 25-year history of working with people and organizations in crisis, implementing community programs and developing institutional supports for people experiencing marginalization, victimization, harassment and discrimination.

During her tenure as the Executive Director of Windsor and Essex County, Dawn was a member of the Sexual Assault Advisory Committee, and a team member appointed to conduct the Domestic Violence Safety audit of the Windsor police service. She co-created and implemented a group treatment program for female political torture survivors. She initiated the creation of a multicultural liaison coordinator position in partnership with the Multicultural Council of Windsor and Essex County to support individuals with immigrant and refugee status that were at high risk of experiencing violent crime.

She was a founding member of the Human Trafficking committee for Essex County and co-lead the implementation of the Neighbours Friends and Family program.

In 2009, Dawn accepted the position of Safe Workplace Advocate at Hotel Dieu Grace Hospital following an inquest into a murder/suicide that had occurred in the workplace. In this position, Dawn acquired basic and advanced mediation training from Harvard University. Over a period of 2 years Dawn was involved in the research and creation of the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario Best Practice Guideline on Managing Conflict in Health Care Groups.

Currently Dawn is responsible for managing interpersonal disputes between individuals and within groups at Wilfrid Laurier University. She is very involved in the Threat Assessment Team and the gendered violence prevention initiative, and is creating an on-line course for domestic violence in policing.

Dawn is a mediator, a Crucial Conversations “train the trainer” and a Mental Health First Aid trainer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in communication studies and sociology from the University of Windsor. Most recently, Dawn completed her LLM through Osgoode PD at York University.