Responding to grievances
Many conflicts can be resolved with good communication skills. At other times, conflicts may be more serious, perhaps resulting in a formal complaint or grievance. In these situations you have a duty to follow your organisation's written policy and procedures.
If you are involved in a conflict, you may be required to:
- inform the person or people involved that you must report the problem
- report the matter to your supervisor or other appropriate person
- document all the issues, dates, actions, etc. in a factual and objective manner
- provide documents and forms, and attend interviews as required.
Managing grievances requires a good balance of acknowledging emotions and extracting factual information. If you are assisting with conflict resolution, procedures could include:
- Inform the people involved (in writing) of the process to be followed.
- Interview the people involved together and separately as appropriate.
- Document the process, outcomes and action agreed upon.
- Take action, review action.
- Follow up as appropriate.
Any interview should end with clear outcomes indicating action to be taken, who is responsible for the action, and a strategy agreed to for reviewing the action and the process generally.
If the conflict is an emergency situation:
- Act immediately to deal with the emergency, according to organisational policy and guidelines.
- Contact the appropriate staff to manage the problem.
Once an emergency is under control, those involved may require debriefing from an appropriate staff member.