What’s your procedure when you receive a complaint or negative feedback from a staff member?
Serious workplace issues such as claims of bullying, harassment or misconduct should always take urgent priority for a manager, from the moment you become aware of the alleged issue. Not only are you legally obliged to respond, your employees expect you to put their safety first and take their feedback seriously.
WorkPlacePLUS consultant Carmen Hurwitz had this to say about how organisations should respond to a formal complaint:
“When your employee comes forward, bravely, and makes a formal complaint, and you are able to clearly establish allegations and rules that have been broken, to then fail to properly investigate the matter only silences your most valuable asset - your people.
“Taking action by formally investigating ensures that inappropriate behaviours are promptly and properly managed. This demonstrates that continuous improvement is at the forefront of the work you do, and that inappropriate conduct will not be tolerated. Most importantly, this builds trust with your staff, who know that when they bravely speak up, you listen and act decisively.”
Courageous communication should be practiced and encouraged at all levels of your organisation. Having difficult conversations in an open, transparent manner allows workplace relationships to be strengthened and workplace issues to be resolved.
It is important for organisations to have a fair and robust process for managing complaints, which should include being respectful, taking matters seriously and practicing procedural fairness.
When taking action and responding to serious complaints, an important reminder that workplace investigations must adhere to natural justice principles, confidentiality, rules of evidence, compliance, and health and safety regulations. These standards help to ensure a fair and equitable process for all and allow an organisation to respond with the appropriate action.
WorkPlacePLUS provides independent workplace investigations of the highest standard. We can support you to meet your employer obligations under various legislation such as Fair Work Act and Work, Health & Safety, while you continue to focus on your business. Our experienced HR consultants are trained private investigators.
For more information, please contact us today.