Resolving issues yourselves

When an issue is raised, those involved should try to resolve the matter themselves first.

Acting fairly and in good faith

When there’s a problem in the workplace, the parties involved should try to resolve it themselves before seeking outside assistance. Do not jump to conclusions — information should be gathered and properly considered before any decisions are made.

In all cases, employer and employees should act in good faith, setting aside emotions, and treating each other with respect and consideration. Issues should be dealt with constructively and in a confidential manner.

It may help to have a third party present when a problem is discussed to prevent misunderstandings. For instance, an employee may want to have a support person, delegate or other representative present. A manager may want to have their manager or a lawyer present.

Both sides should keep notes of any meetings and any agreements reached.

Good faith

5 steps to resolving an issue quickly

When seeking a resolution, it’s a good idea to follow these 5 steps.

  1. Check all relevant workplace policies and .
  2. Be clear about the facts — make sure the issue is not just based on an assumption or a misunderstanding.
  3. Talk to each other respectfully — have a representative in attendance if you wish.
  4. Clarify whether there is a problem and, if so, what it is. Do not delay. The problem should be fully discussed as soon as possible. Check you are not just focusing on a symptom of the problem but that you understand the underlying cause. Employers need to remember to treat employees consistently and objectively.
  5. If no agreement can be reached, consider what further assistance is needed to help resolve the problem. Parties may consider whether early resolution or assistance might be useful at this stage.

Meeting advice for employees

Employees preparing to discuss an issue with their employers should be clear about what they want to talk about and why, and what they would like the outcome of the discussion to be.

Talking to your employer

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