Harassment Awareness and Prevention, and Intervention Strategies for Leaders
Unresolved conflict is one of the largest factors in negative workplace experiences and outcomes. The effects of a failure to resolve conflicts at the earliest possible level range from difficulty in hiring and retaining quality employees to receiving fines from external agencies and even being the subject of negative publicity.
Front line leaders are charged with overseeing the day-to-day interactions of their teams. Participating in this training will have many benefits, both at the individual leader level and in the workplace as a whole. A key benefit will be the reduction of formal complaints of harassment and discrimination to external agencies, including Human Rights, and Occupational Health and Safety. An important indirect benefit will be an increase in positive communication within the team and directly with the leader. This will enable the team to work more co-operatively together, to overcome challenges in the work and to leverage all team members’ creative problem solving abilities. At an individual level, a leader who demonstrates a strong track record of partnering in the resolution of conflict at the earliest level will gain a positive reputation and will receive higher performance evaluations and have access to more opportunity within the organization.
The consequences for a failure to develop conflict resolution skills can be dire. There is an increase to the liability for both the leader specifically and the organization as a whole. All Canadian workplaces have a zero tolerance policy for harassment and discrimination and leadership, as an agent of the employer, has the responsibility to take appropriate action when conflict arises. A workplace or work group who has a poor reputation and track record in dealing with conflict at the earliest level will experience difficulty in attracting and retaining the most qualified team members. The direct output of a team in conflict will always be less than that of a team operating co-operatively. Finally, the results of poorly managed conflict can include fines imposed by Human Rights and other external agencies. As this information is often public, the damage to an employer, seeking to gain an “employer of choice” reputation can be devastating.
Leaders are often: provided with technical training, and promoted from within after they have achieved technical excellence. Rarely are they offered training on the topic of managing conflict. Anecdotally, we know that some of the most challenging time spent in the leadership position comes in the area of conflict management.
This training will differentiate itself from the academia surrounding the concepts of conflict resolution by immersing the leader in real-world scenarios, with professional actors, in a facilitated environment. The focus will be on the development of practical skills.
The leaders who will be attending this workshop typically have a need to deal with conflict on an on-going basis. Their experience will range from having participated in conflict resolution up to and including formal investigations, to having no experience at all. Participants will have a range of educational backgrounds from high school level to post graduate designations and degrees.
1. After training, leaders will be able to: identify what harassment is and is not, according to the applicable legislation and policy, identify different types of harassment, make decisions regarding behaviour that may constitute harassment, using case studies, recognize acts of harassment occurring at or away from the workplace, categorize behaviour on a harassment scale and discover how the concept of “one incident” or “a series of incidents” apply, and appreciate the need for action, often involving documentation and consultation with respect to escalating incidents.
2. After training, leaders will be able to identify and analyze the direct and indirect costs to ignoring an escalating workplace conflict. Further explanation. This is accomplished by: small group work and/or large group work to identify the costs, lecture and handout, and leaders will be asked to log ongoing costs of conflict within their team going forward. Discussion will focus on showing leaders how to develop a plan to mitigate conflict, once identified.
3. After training, leaders will be able to demonstrate an ability to intervene in an escalating conflict effectively, apply creative problem solving skills and assess differing levels of conflict in order to apply the appropriate intervention tool.
4. After training, leaders will be able to identify the common pitfalls in conflict management and contrast appropriate interventions including identifying the impacts of taking sides, and modifying common negative behaviours. Leaders will be asked to review and identify some common errors during a live role play with professional actors, to develop a plan for addressing the errors and then to attempt resolution, with clear learning outcomes identified along the way.
This one day workshop is intended to be run in one location numerous times, or as a single day session in order to provide Awareness and Prevention training to Managers, Supervisors and Executives and front-line personnel involved in the early stages of conflict.
The focus of the learning is to bring a broader awareness to the participants as to what their responsibilities are and what resources are available to them to assist with dispute resolution. This workshop can be tailored to reflect the most common, and challenging issues your employee relations team encounters, allowing them to practice the skills necessary to effectively deal with the early stages of conflict and harassment issues.
Contact us to discuss further or request an in-house quotation: