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A Different Perspective on Managing Employee Relations in the Workplace – What if there was a different way?

Traditional approaches to managing employee conflict typically involve established policies, procedures, and interventions aimed at resolving disputes such as disciplinary and grievance procedures.  In and of themselves, there is nothing wrong with these approaches, but they often assume that situations are black and white, where someone is right, and someone is wrong.


Recently, I’ve come to realise that this type of ‘one size fits all’ approach, doesn’t always result in the best outcomes for the people involved, or the organisation.



What if:


  • Employees were encouraged to communicate openly and respectfully with each other and with management. Create channels for feedback, suggestions, and concerns to be shared, such as regular team meetings, suggestion boxes, or anonymous surveys.

 

  • People understood the power of perception, in that we look at our lives through our own thinking.  We all perceive and interpret information differently based on our backgrounds, experiences, and beliefs. Recognising these differences helps individuals communicate more effectively and it’s a gamechanger when we understand that it’s not what someone says or does that upsets us, but rather our perception or interpretation of this.  It can be the catalyst to make us pause before we react. How we perceive the world will affect how we behave and interact with our colleagues, but how many of us realise this?  So often we jump to blaming others, when really, we may simply be in a bad mood, or may be hangry! 😊 Conflicts often arise from misunderstandings or misinterpretations of others' intentions or actions. By acknowledging and respecting differences in perception, individuals can approach situations with understanding, finding common ground and reaching mutually acceptable solutions.


  • We take employee concerns and complaints seriously and address them promptly and impartially, with empathy.  Treating people as individuals and making them feel heard is proven to be a powerful tool to show them that they are valued, which in turn will give them a positive experience of you as a manager.

 

  • We genuinely fostered a culture of respect for diversity and inclusion, where differences are celebrated, and all employees feel valued and respected.

 

Of course, it’s important to have clear policies and procedures, which are known, understood and readily accessible, but wouldn’t it be great if we could resolve issues before it becomes necessary to apply these?



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