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In our organisations, it’s easy for us to lose sight of people in favour of process. Slipping into those old habits of retribution over restoration has lasting negative impacts on business, collective and individual health. Head of Resolution and Leadership Programmes Stephen Adams discussed how, through a unique triage system, we can build happier, healthier and more harmonious workplaces. With 30 years of experience working with colleagues in conflict, Steve understands what it means to be human. From his learned experience within the corporate world, moving now to coaching, mediating and training, compassion is his driver.
“There's two sides of every story so try to walk in other people's shoes. Whenever anyone’s involved in a disciplinary or grievance procedures, it’s crucial to be mindful that we’re all human beings affected by the same process.”
Resolution to transformationThe time is up for retributive justice. The last two years, experiencing a devastating pandemic, have taught us how the treatment of people is so imperative to wellbeing. From that perspective alone, it’s time for change – and many organisations are stepping into the realm of resolution to provide a less harmful, more empathetic and person-centred approach to colleague connection. It’s all about that human element of the workplace. By their structure and systems, traditional discipline, grievance and performance procedures perpetuate adversarial, confrontational and combative mindsets. By focusing on litigation to cover up human issues, these processes serve to escalate and entrench problems, generate stress and division, and embed a toxic blame culture. “Even when people have gone through a grievance procedure or process, 9 times out of 10, they really don't get what they want at the end. They've caused themselves harm for no result.” It’s not just psychologically damaging. In the UK, the total cost of workplace conflict is £28.5 billion annually. Broken down, that means that:
- Formal HR procedures, including grievances, disciplinary cases and dismissals cost £12.8 billion.
- The total for resignations is £11.9 billion.
- £2.2 billion is the amount spent on sickness absence.
A better approachIt doesn’t have to be this way. As our world progresses, modernises and diversifies, so too should our workplaces. If our businesses are operated by humans, shouldn’t our policies operate for humans? Authored by David Liddle, and brought to life by Head of Resolution Steve, the Resolution Framework™ births a fresh approach for resolving concerns, conduct, complaints and conflict at work. What’s so different about it?
- It is the most effective way to deliver transformative justice.
- It’s values-based, outcomes-oriented and person-centred. Just like our organisations.
- Dialogue has primacy – adult-to-adult dialogue is encouraged.
- Key stakeholders work together to promote resolution, fostering a collaborative attitude.
- It offers an enhanced triage assessment of cases using a tried and tested Resolution Index™ - this delivers high levels of objectivity, rigour and fairness, giving your employees and managers a tailored resolution for each case.
- Forget about formal litigation and start thinking about delivering lasting and constructive outcomes – this Framework increases the use of early resolution, facilitated conversations, restorative justice and mediation.
- It’s fully compliant with the Acas code, employment and equality legislation and best practice guidance.
- Duration/frequency of the concern(s) raised.
- Complexity of the concern(s) raised.
- Previous attempts to resolve the concern(s).
- Needs of the complainant.
- Impact of the issue(s) on the complainant.
- Risk to the business e.g., future litigation.