Some simple practices can help make relationships smoother and prevent problems:
- Take time to communicate clearly. Poor communication often causes disputes and misunderstandings.
- Raising concerns when they first come up can help stop them becoming bigger and harder to resolve.
- Make sure workplace policies, practices and/or work rules are well communicated and easy to understand.
- Put in place and use effective systems and processes for setting performance expectations, having regular performance conversations, staff updates about what is going on and for dealing with such things as change and managing performance issues.
- Put in place processes to address and investigate complaints that employees might raise, such as complaints of bullying, discrimination, or sexual harassment.
- Promote a culture where everyone shares the responsibility for preventing and clearing up confusion or mistakes. For example, if an employee believes they are being overpaid, the employee should raise the potential error.
- Employees and employers should keep themselves well informed about their employment rights and responsibilities.
It is a good idea for both parties to record important conversations in writing. The written record does not need to be complex, but it should be dated, accurate and stored carefully.
If a problem does happen then dealing with it quickly using the policy and processes in place, should help to stop the problem getting bigger.