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Archive for the '2008' Category

The new role for mediation in the workplace

December 22 2008: In April 2009, the current statutory Grievance and Disciplinary process will be repealed and organisations will be encouraged to use early resolution tools where disputes exist. The preface in the new ACAS code of conduct refers to the role that third parties can play in this process. In particular, it refers the role that workplace mediation should play within the guidlines of the new framework.

This is timely, as mediation and conflict resolution strategies have been proven to save organisations time and money. In a time of economic uncertainty this represents a great opportunity for organisations to engage in early resolution principles that deliver cost benefits. For more on the proposed legislative changes, please click here:  http://www.berr.gov.uk/whatwedo/employment/Resolving_disputes/index.html

(This link will take you directly to the BERR website) 

 

 

Managing Difficult Conversations

24 October 2008 Globis has launched a new series of 1 day training sessions to help line managers prepare for having difficult and tough conversations. In a time of economic uncertainty, rising unemployment, constant change and rising cost of living line managers are facing more and more difficult situations. Research shows that around two thirds of line managers would rather do something else rather than have a difficult conversation with one of their team.

Globis has always had a preventatvie and remedial HR approach in its offering of solutions for clients. The ‘How to’ Managing Difficult Conversations series is being launched in response to a growing demand from managers requesting help to prepare for situations they are facing.

To view more information about the course, plick click here http://www.globis.co.uk/services/ld-difficult-conversations.php

The 1 day course is only available on an in-house basis.  To book this course for your organisation please call us on 0800 345 7703 or email info@globis.co.uk

Globis Workplace Mediation Webinar

23 October 2008 Yesterday, Globis held the second in the series of quarterly webinars designed to help HR professionals and organisations prepare for a major change in employment legislation. Globis is the first accredited workplace mediation provider to undertake this initiative.

In a short space of time these webinars have set the benchmark for providing knowledge and advice on what is still a new and relatively unknown concept. Since the webinars started, nearly 200 organisations have registered to listen in. In April 2009, the statutory (Oct 2004) grievance procedures will be repealed. As part of the Gibbons review, organisations are being encouraged to seek the early resolution of workplace disputes which will save hundreds of thousands of pounds. One of the main tools that organisations are being encouraged to use to seek early resolution is workplace mediation.

The free 45 minute sessions use latest Web based technology to brief delegates from the comfort of their own desks.

One delegate commented ” I am now a big fan of Webinars! It was excellent and the most effective use of viewers’ time”.

The next webinar takes place on Tuesday February 10th 2009, commencing at 10.00am. To register, please contact us on 0800 345 7703 or email us at info@globis.co.uk

To view yesterdays Webinar please click on the link below:

http://mediazone.brighttalk.com/comm/Globis/5e39914bcc-10376-1854-10174

Globis announces 2009 workplace mediation training dates schedule

Date: 24 September 2008 Globis has published its list of open course mediation training dates for 2009. The number of individuals and organisations deciding to train in workplace mediaton skills is growing rapidly. This is being helped by the impending change in employment legislation which is due to take place in April 2009. The flagship National employment and workplace mediation certificate is quickly becoming the UK’s benchmark for mediation training.  Accredited by the National Open College Network and the Law Society, delegates include HR professionals, line managers, employment lawyers and union representatives. Globis are likely to triple the number of number of delegates participating in mediation training during 2009.   

Globis founder and MD, Clive Lewis commented ” I am very excited with our mediation training plans for 2009. Globis will continue to build on the success of our flagship mediation training course and help equip more people with the tools and skills used by mediators to solve disputes”.

To view our list of 2009 open couse mediation training dates please click here: http://www.globis.co.uk/Globis%20employment%20&%20workplace%20mediation%20training%20dates%202009.pdf

To speak to us about in-house training please contact us:  http://www.globis.co.uk/contact-us.php  �

Workplace dispute regulation consultations

Date: 8 July 2008

The Government has published its consultation paper seeking views on amendments to the dispute resolution and other employment law matters.

You can view and download the consultation paper here http://www.berr.gov.uk/files/file46775.pdf

The matters under consultation include:-

  1. extending the definition of a ‘relevant advisor’ who can sign off a compromise agreement (to include CIPD members)
  2. changing the current position on interest accruing on tribunal awards
  3. broader powers for tribunals to make recommendations in discrimination cases
  4. introducing a procedure for chairmen to make decisions on the papers only, without a hearing in certain jurisdictions (with the parties consent)
  5. adding Holiday pay to the list of jurisdictions normally heard by a chairman sitting alone;
  6. revised ET1 and ET3 forms
  7. transitional provisions for the abolition of the statutory dismissal and grievance procedures

The closing date for responses to the consultation paper is 26 September 2008

You can view and download the consultation paper here http://www.berr.gov.uk/files/file46775.pdf

Globis helps HR functions prepare for incorporating workplace mediation

Date: 20 June 2008

Yesterday, Globis held the first in a series of Webinars designed to help HR functions and organisations prepare for a major change in employment legislation. Globis is the first accredited workplace mediation provider to undertake this initiative.

In April 2009, the statutory (Oct 2004) grievance procedures will be repealed. As part of the Gibbons review, organisations are being encouraged to seek the early resolution of workplace disputes which will save hundreds of thousands of pounds. One of the main tools that organisations are being encouraged to use is workplace mediation.

Former HR Director and Globis founder and MD Clive Lewis, led the session and was joined by co-presenter Armelle Bailey from the Department for business. Just under 100 organisations registered for the session.

The free 40 minute session used latest Web based technology to brief HR professionals and line managers – from the comfort of their own desks- on impending changes and suggested ways in which organisations could prepare.

One delegate commented ” I am now a big fan of Webinars! It was excellent and the most effective use of viewers’ time”.

Clive Lewis stated ” I am delighted that once again, Globis is leading the field in helping organisations incorporate workplace mediation and build better relationships at work. We are aware of the pressures on people’s time so utilised technology to maximize learning and productivity”.

To view the Webinar, please click on the link below:

http://mediazone.brighttalk.com/comm/Globis/38e0988471-8525-1854-8149

The next webinar will take place on Wednesday 22 October 2008

Gibbons Review – Government Response

Date: 22 May 2008

Gibbons Review – Government response

The Government have published their response to the Gibbons review. The main response area  that will have an impact on HR professionals and line managers is the decision to repeal the grievance and disciplinary process that was introduced in 2004. This represents one of the biggest employment law changes in many years. The timescale for the removal of this statutory process is April 2009. Organisations will be encouraged to adopt new ways of working such as incorporating the principles of workplace mediation and early resolution.

Globis is working with the Department of Business, CIPD and Acas to prepare the UK for this change.

The business case shows that organisations can save hundreds of thousands or millions of pounds by building better relationships at work.

Please click here to view the response http://www.berr.gov.uk/files/file46233.pdf

Globis launches Summer School

Date: 7 April 2008

Globis is currently experiencing exceptional growth for the provision of mediation services and accredited mediation training.

Our goal is to be the UK’s No. 1 provider of preventative and remedial HR solutions that build better relationships at work.

During 2008 we will train in excess of 150 people to become accredited workplace and employment mediators. This year we are holding our first Summer School. The Summer School will be an intensive week long residential training course of our National Certificate in Workplace Mediation Skills Programme.

The Summer School will be held at the picturesque and tranquil House of Cantle, Perth, Scotland. For more information on the training venue, please click here: http://www.cantle.net/house.html

This course will be ideal for anyone who is interested in pursuing a quick concentrated route to Workplace and Employment mediator accreditation.

There will also be ample time to enjoy the scenery on the Loch!

The course dates are 17-22 August 2008. The cost is £3495 plus vat per person, including accommodation and meals.

For a booking form please click here http://www.globis.co.uk/Course_Booking_Form.pdf

Associate Opportunites

Date: March 27 2008

This is an exciting time for Globis. We are experiencing rapid growth which is helping us in our drive to be the UK’s No1 provider of preventative and remedial HR solutions that help build better relationships at work. To help us grow, we are looking for a number of Associates to join our team. There are three areas that we have in mind.

Workplace and employment mediators

Mediation in the workplace is likely to become the biggest HR intervention since Coaching. We would like to hear from people who are experienced mediators. You will have been trained by a recognisable and reputable organisation and have been lead mediator for a range of in-house or post employment disputes. We have a particular interest in hearing from people who are located in the North (inc Scotland), Midlands and London.

In addition, we would like to hear from individuals who have an interest in training to become a mediator with the view to undertake some associate work when the opportunity arises. You may currently be a freelance or employed HR Professional. We would also like to hear from employment lawyers with an interest in this area.

Training and Development Specialists

Globis currently offers a range of Open and in-house training programmes. Most of our training relates to preventative strategies to keep workplace relationships on-track. Programmes include topics such as ‘How to manage difficult conversations’ and ‘How to influence’. We will also train over 150 people to become accredited workplace and employment mediators during 2008. If you would have an interest in helping us build our training service provision, please contact us.

Equality and Diversity Specialists

Managing difference is a hot topic for most organisations across the UK. An increasing number of organisations are contacting us about Equality and Diversity HR solutions. We would like to hear from you if this is one of your areas of expertise.

To discuss any of these opportunities please contact me on 0800 345 7703 or at clive.lewis@globis.co.uk

I look forward to hearing from you.

Clive Lewis
Managing Director.

Bullying: Virtual Fighters

Source: Personnel Today

Date: 11 February 2008

BlackBerries and mobiles have blurred the boundaries between work and personal lives, and one unpleasant side-effect has been the inexorable rise of ‘cyber-bullying’. Margaret Kubicek investigates.

Microsoft is developing Big Brother-style software that can remotely monitor a worker’s productivity. And while gadgets such as BlackBerries and mobile phones were developed with the aim of helping us become more efficient, it seems they can also be used as a means of abuse – providing an ‘in’ to our personal time and space from which there may seem to be no escape.

The rise of technology in the workplace has another unfortunate side effect: the potential for threatening behaviour between individuals.

This ‘cyber-bullying’ is something employers increasingly need to concern themselves with, and should bring their policies and procedures up to date. This should result in fewer complaints and, where incidents do occur, the ability to resolve them early before they significantly dent employee productivity.

Social networking

E-mail figures heavily in the vast majority of cases, but those involving social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace – with their audience of millions – cause perhaps the greatest humiliation and distress.

“With technology and the internet, it’s much easier and less constraining for the bully,” says Cary Cooper, professor of organisational psychology and health at Lancaster University Management School. “They don’t have to look at the other person and the technology is instant.”

According to the Andrea Adams Trust, the charity that campaigns against bullying in the workplace, any means of communication has the potential for bullying to occur.

“Unfortunately, it’s a natural human behaviour when individuals are forced into high-pressure situations,” says operations director Matt Witheridge. “The big thing with cyber-bullying, particularly e-mail, is it’s very hard to gauge tone, and a lot of confusion arises. We see that day in, day out.”

The argument that business should take bullying more seriously has never been stronger. More than 80% of workers say they have been bullied during their careers, according to a recent survey by the Samaritans. Meanwhile, brand new research from anti-bullying at work initiative Dignity at Work has calculated the total cost of bullying for UK organisations in 2007 to be about £13.75bn after taking into account absenteeism, staff turnover and loss of productivity related to the issue.

Siobhan Endean, project co-ordinator for Dignity at Work, says that although cyber-bullying is a new mechanism of bullying, the power relationships remain the same. It’s critical that employers take a zero-tolerance approach to the problem, whatever its form.

Clear policy

“Employers should have a clear policy that defines what bullying is and what cyber-bullying is as well, and states clearly that this kind of behaviour is not acceptable,” she advises. In Cooper’s view, many employers have not kept up with the changing times, so don’t even have policies on the use of new technologies and e-mail in general, much less for cyber-bullying.

Nationwide’s employee engagement manager, Darren Palmer, says building an anti-bullying policy and ensuring it is supported at all levels is an essential first step. “Given the speed of technological change, policies should make sure they clearly define all forms of unacceptable behaviour, including unacceptable conduct through distribution of unwanted e-mails, texts or images.” Employers should include both informal and formal routes to address complaints, he says.

Indeed, the early mediation approach works best, according to Endean. “Quite often it’s difficult to tackle bullying when it’s been left and people are off sick for a long time,” she says.

And the lawyers agree. Ellen Pinnell, partner at Capital Law and an accredited mediator, believes the aim of HR must be to catch bullying long before it gets to the point where formal mediation is required.

“Facilitation, which is not as formal as mediation, can be used, and larger organisations should consider training someone up,” she says. Trade unions will often question the impartiality of an internal facilitator, so an external facilitator may be a better option. Short of a tribunal, mediation can offer a more formal means of resolution that is confidential and may “end up settling things in a way a tribunal never could,” says Pinnell, citing a case in which the victim’s involvement in providing the company’s equal opportunities training was part of the settlement. “That’s something a tribunal would never be able to order.”

Access to training

The most prevalent form of cyber-bullying, via e-mail (see box, right), can leave a clear evidence trail for those investigating complaints. However, the anonymity afforded by most other new technologies makes policing cyber-bullying a real challenge, particularly in relation to postings on social networking sites. Some organisations may look to monitor employees’ use of the internet, says Witheridge, but if any personal information is being tracked or recorded, that could be infringing people’s civil liberties.

Some organisations may even choose to block access to these sites altogether. But for many employers, sites such as YouTube and Facebook can be an important tool in marketing and recruitment.

E-malice

E-mail is by far the most common method of cyber-bullying – a reflection of its predominance as the communication channel of choice in today’s workplace.

“Nine times out of 10, e-mail is involved,” says mediator Ellen Pinnell, a partner at Capital Law. Yet vague, out-of-date and ill-communicated policies in many organisa­tions, combined with lack of training for line managers, mean not all cyber-bullies are causing injury with explicit intent.

“It took a while for people to recognise that sending an unpleasant e-mail and copying in a number of people who didn’t need to be involved in that exchange was bullying,” she says.

Cary Cooper, from the University of Lancaster Management School, believes a culture of positive communication requires a high degree of person-to-person contact. “My belief is if you’re in the same building, go eyeball to eyeball wherever possible,” he says.

Pinnell adds that organisations must set clear guidelines for employees regarding how e-mail should be used.

“The test is, would you actually say to someone’s face what you’re putting in the e-mail, and where e-mail is sensitive and the topic is difficult, go back to it a couple of hours later before sending it,” she says.

“Constructive use of e-mail is as a written record to confirm what was discussed at a meeting, for example. There is a proper role for e-mail, but it must not cross the line into intimidating people,” Pinnel adds.

Given that tribunals and courts are increasingly ordering the disclosure of e-mails, she warns that “people should think twice before writing a vile e-mail they wouldn’t be able to explain”.

The legal challenges

The legal stance regarding cyber-bullying is essentially the same as for face-to-face bullying, meaning there is no one piece of legislation that makes it unlawful.

The result, says Siobhan Endean, project co-ordinator for anti-bullying lobby Dignity at Work, is a “gap in the legislation”, which, in most cases, leaves constructive dismissal as the only remedy.

“This is completely inadequate for most people, who really just want to be back at work and have the issue resolved,” she says.

Some forms of cyber-bullying, however, do raise particular legal concerns for employers, underscoring the need for robust policies on the issue so as to limit their liability. Cases involving the use of BlackBerries and mobile phones issued by a company without clear guidelines on appropriate use could leave the employer liable.

“If you’re looking at a cyber-bullying situation that involves a manager and their employee, I think BlackBerries do take on a new dimension because you take them home, they’re with you every day,” says Hester Jewitt, an employment lawyer at Manches.

Many new technologies, whether e-mail, text or, in some cases, internet sites, afford anonymity to perpetrators, which could lead to a greater risk of anxiety and distress on the part of the victim because they don’t know who the bully is, says Jewitt. At the same time, abusive postings on social networking sites could result in greater injury to feeling because they are in the public domain.

The key to limiting employer liability is simple, however. “Make it clear through policies and procedures what kind of behaviour is acceptable, and ensure they are adhered to,” advises Jewitt.

Bullying using e-mails or the internet is the most silent form of office threat, but could be a trend that makes a big noise in lawsuits to come.




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