Introducing a Resolution Programme
CONTENT & ENGAGEMENT MANAGERRobyn Marsh
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“The introduction of the policy changed the whole concept and dynamic of managing conflict within the workplace. Culturally, the change in language and emphasis have been so important. We aren’t focusing on being aggrieved, we are focusing on resolution and that is a fundamental difference. ANTHONY FITZPATRICK, HEAD OF COLLEAGUE EXPERIENCE & EMPLOYMENT POLICY.
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IntroductionAviva is the UK’s largest insurance company, with over 15 million customers and 15,000 staff in the UK. Aviva recognises looking after its people means they in turn will look after customers. This sentiment is central to the ethos at The TCM Group, meaning that a collaborative partnership between Aviva and TCM to implement more people-centred structures was a no-brainer. Working with The TCM Group, Aviva introduced a resolution programme in July 2018 supporting its commitment to employee engagement and wellbeing. Through its revolutionary framework, TCM offers a collaborative and structured system for resolving complaints and grievances, an alternative to formal procedures, that centres on party empowerment and accountability within a facilitated environment. The programme therefore mirrors Aviva’s commitment to employee engagement by supporting colleagues to find a way to resolve their workplace issues in a way that feels right for them. The programme has proved successful since 2018, resulting in a more collaborative and constructive approach to workplace conflict amongst employees, managers, and trade unions.
Targeting IssuesPrior to the introduction of the resolution programme, the business recognised that the way it was currently dealing with workplace conflict was at odds with its wellbeing culture. Issues rumbled under the surface until they reached a point where the only solution was a standard grievance procedure. A new way of resolving disputes was needed to help managers nip issues in the bud, encourage healthy dialogue in teams and ensure staff were able to concentrate on their best work to support customers. With the help of the TCM Group, Aviva implemented a Total Conflict Management System™, which allowed it to move away from standard grievance procedures towards an approach that is centred around resolution and mediation.
Making ResolutionsStakeholder engagement: Aviva recognised that getting buy-in from key stakeholders right from the start would be integral to the success of the programme. The first step was a detailed assessment of the causes and cost of conflict within the business. This was followed by a stakeholders meeting, which brought together colleagues from all areas of the business so they could contribute and help shape the initiative. The vision for a new emphasis on resolution was shared across the company through a series of presentations, round table discussions and webinars where employees could learn about tools to resolve issues in the workplace, ask questions and raise concerns. These events were reinforced by an internal marketing campaign, which included roadshows at key sites in the lead up to the July 2018 launch date. The business also recognised that support from the union would be critical. Representatives were involved in discussions from the outset and the team worked hard to overcome some initial concerns about the union’s role in supporting it members and how formal action, when needed, would sit within the policy. Training and implementation:
- Resolution Triage Assessments
- Conflict/conversation individual coaching
- Facilitated conversations by a line manager, ER, HR or union official
- Structured mediation using the FAIR Mediation Model™