Find Mediators Near You:

Trouble Brewing? Get Ready to Close Difficult Claims

CMP Resolution Blog by John Crawley, Lesley Allport and Katherine Graham.

One of the most common types of grievance investigation we encounter is when a member of staff is being performance managed in a way that they believe is unfair, leading to a claim of bullying. These are tricky and risky situations often boiling down to one person’s word against another. They need a sensitive, rigorous approach from managers and HR staff assigned to investigate so that the grievance is closed effectively, fairly and in a way which helps the organisation retain its employees, and learn from the situation.

New research by law firm EMW has revealed that these types of cases are likely to be on the increase, particularly in the public sector. Louise Holder a principal in the employment team at EMW highlighted “the public sector is expected to start putting in place efficiency drives with performance targets that are likely to be tougher and monitored more rigorously. Some employees who are not used to this could see this as a form of bullying while those who are made redundant could file for unfair dismissal.”

Our experience bears this out. Many organisations are strengthening their ability to manage formal grievances as these tough times are generating new fears and tensions, which are heightened by clumsy managerial communications and brewing perceptions of unfairness from workers under pressure.

Is your organisation ready to manage this risk? This short checklist may help:

Do you have a clearly mapped out grievance investigation process including key ground rules, rights and responsibilities and terms of reference?
Do you have templates so ensure consistency of approach including information for the parties (complainant, respondent and witnesses), records of interview, the final written report?
Are your investigators sufficiently skilled in investigative interviewing, analysis of evidence and report-writing?
Have you identified the cost and return on investment of handling investigations internally compared to outsourcing them to external experts?
Finally, don’t forget there still may be a chance to prevent escalation of these types of grievances into a formal process through clear performance management techniques, or to manage complaints before they go into a formal process by always considering if you have tried mediation yet.

                        author

John Crawley

John Crawley is the Founder and Chair of CMP Resolutions and has been working in organisations who are experiencing conflict for the last 20 years. He has acquired a unique range of conflict narratives illustrating what works and what does not. John developed and utilised the model of Constructive Conflict… MORE >

Featured Members

ad
View all

Read these next

Category

The Mediators–New Show

In Romania, there are over 4 million files waiting to be solved by courts – which implies a lot of stress, money and time. Being aware of his role of...

By Zeno Daniel Sustac
Category

Investor-State Mediation: A New Way to deal with Old Problems

Similar to commercial arbitration, a large proportion of treaty-based investor-state disputes involve construction issues. In the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes’ (ICSID) 2021 Annual Report, construction was...

By Joe Tirado
Category

ODR Cyberweek 2023: ThinkTech Webinar: AI and Mediation

From Cyberweek 2023: a webinar on AI and the future of mediation. With Dan Rainey, Ayelet Sela, Colin Rule, and Chuck Crumpton https://youtu.be/u1UxyjKGTLU?si=rPv-f86qlpiCHqZR

By Colin Rule, Ayelet Sela, Daniel Rainey, Charles Crumpton
×