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Frontline Intelligence - Legal: Responding to workplace grievances

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HC Online | 06 Sep 2012, 12:00 AM Agree 0
What common sense steps can managers and HR professionals take to ensure they manage complaints and grivances to prevent legal action? Joydeep Hor and Carla Seymour have the answers.
  • Bernie Althofer | 10 Sep 2012, 11:44 AM Agree 0
    It seems that some organisations have a preference for reactive strategies i.e.g responding after an issue has arisen. Whilst proactive and preventive strategies might not be the flavour of the month, taking this approach could result in less workplace grievances. Providing officers and workers with training that addresses the practicalities of communicating and working in a modern workplace could help create a better understanding of how 'flash points' occur. In doing so, individuals might be able to develop an insight or understanding on how to participate in constructive or positive conflict.

    Unfortunately, there are increasing number of workplaces where there is constant and increasing pressures being brought to bear from internal and external sources. Some of pressures will result in grievances being lodged. However, with appropriate and relevant proactive strategies being introduced, officers and workers should able to work together constructively even under adverse situations.

    By all means, have a well documented grievance management system and process in place. However, unless all officers and workers have been trained in how, when, where, why and what do, then it might only appear as window dressing. The secret is in the implementation and dare I say it, the audit/assessment process. All too often, organisations have a great policy or procedures that sits on the intranet or on a shelf gathering dust, and it only comes to light when a grievance comes to light.

    It might well be the case that a grievance process is rarely used, if other workplace relations systems and processes have been effectively implemented, and that includes ongoing training for all officers and workers.
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