Conflict is a huge contributor to workplace absence and stress. Many people ask, how mediation can resolve conflict and absenteeism. It seems if an organisation can develop a culture of conflict resolution, then conflict can be nipped in the bud. Rather than leaving it to fester and grow, causing the stress that may lead to absenteeism. Howver, there is a process which allows individuals in conflict to find an informal resolution to their issues quickly and effectively. An organisation could invest time in training line managers to hold difficult conversations. Ones that many of us attempt to avoid, It teaches listening techniques and can promote a culture of openness, dialogue, honesty and integrity. If conflict is already an issue in your organisation, considering strategies to deal with existing conflict may be beneficial to you. Mediation is a technique that can be a powerful intervention with a high success rate. It is a confidential, voluntary and informal process that allows members of staff in conflict to have open and honest discussions through a qualified mediator. It allows them to clarify the issues that so often lead to communication breakdowns and misunderstandings. So, How Mediation Can Resolve Conflict and Absenteeism Mediation focuses on re-establishing a working relationship […]
We have written blogs about Christmas parties and how to avoid problems in the past. In this blog we look at other Christmas issues in the workplace. Can you withhold a Christmas bonus? There are two types of bonus scheme, discretionary and contractual. The terms of a discretionary scheme need to be clearly set out. You will be entitled to exercise discretion and withhold payment of a bonus. An employee may apply to an employment tribunal for unlawful deductions of wages if you do not pay contractual bonus’. The criteria applied to either sort of bonus scheme should not be discriminatory. Christmas Hampers or Other Regular Gifts to Employees Employees could argue the provision of a hamper or gift has become a contractual right as a result of custom and practice. However, this can only happen if you have done this for several years on a regular basis. This could be the case if employees have come to expect to receive a hamper. The employer must also tell employees that such gifts are not guaranteed. Before deciding not to provide hampers, you should explain to your staff why you feel you are unable to do so. Alternatively, you may consider providing a smaller, […]
Are there winners and losers in the Grievance process? Or is everybody a loser? “Just put a grievance in” is a very common response by employees who are having difficulties with a situation at work, especially if it’s to do with a difficult working relationship. “Just put a grievance in” shows a complete lack of understanding for what “putting a grievance in” actually involves. By the time an employee gets to the point where they feel they have no option other than to “just put a grievance in” it’s likely that they have had months of negative emotion about a situation. The situation will have likely kept them awake at night, been their sole topic of conversation at home and at work for some time, it will be distracting them from working as productively as the organisation would wish them to and may even have resulted in them taking time off sick to avoid the situation. Resolving this situation is highly unlikely to have winners and losers in the Grievance Process. The employee’s grievance will most likely involve at least one other employee, the person that they are aggrieved against. That person may be oblivious to the situation and be […]
Aren’t you glad you aren’t trying to manage a business in India? An executive engineer, who was last in work in December 1990, a 25 year absence, has finally been dismissed in 2015!! The Engineer worked for the Indian government which had found him guilty of “wilful absence from duty” in 1992, but only now, after a 25 year absence, has the employee finally been dismissed. Even then it took the involvement of a cabinet minister to finally achieve the dismissal. According to a government statement the employee “went on seeking extension of leave, which was not sanctioned and defied directions to report to work”. According to the World Bank, India’s labour laws make it difficult to dismiss staff for any reason other than that of criminal misconduct. I’d say they’re right if a 25 year absence is anything to go by! Some states have recently made changes to the law that will make it easier for employers to recruit and dismiss staff going forward.
Having an employee caught drink driving is the time to take a deep breath. Remember the old saying ‘act in haste repent at leisure’… The festivities are approaching; everyone’s out celebrating – you have an employee caught drink driving who tells you that they were charged with a drink driving offence. So, what do you do? Your reaction will probably vary, depending on whether or not your employee’s job involves them driving on business. We’ll focus on those who drive for you as part of their job. These hold the biggest challenge for you, the employer. An employee caught drink driving and convicted of a drink driving offence can be fairly certain that they will receive a driving ban as part of their penalty. In addition to fines they might even face imprisonment in some cases. But, before you rush off in a panic, think: has your employee been convicted of an offence yet? Or are they just telling you that they have been charged and they are likely to be appearing in court to face charges? Take Care that you don’t overreact If they haven’t yet been convicted of an offence take care that you don’t over react, for example by […]
The problem We were approached by an employer in the food preparation industry employing 23 staff. They had no contracts of employment in place and few policies and procedures. The employer had a number of problems He was struggling to get staff to be flexible enough to work the overtime needed to enable him to meet sudden peaks in order levels. He had previously not hit deadlines and incurred contractual penalties because of his inability to staff the shifts needed. The employer was frustrated about a significant lost time issue which was costing him nearly £30 000 a year. He had worked out that he could have employed another 2 employees with this wasted money, or taken more money out of the business for himself. Staff were arriving for work at the start time of their shift and then taking up to twenty minutes to get changed into their protective clothing. He calculated that this was costing him nearly 2000 hours a year of unproductive time that he was paying for. At the other end of the day, staff were downing tools between 15 and 20 minutes before their shift ended to get changed into their work clothes and standing […]