2 AFTER STUDYING THIS CHAPTER, YOU WILL BE ABLE TO: Recognize that handling disagreements and conflicts in the workplace is a component of supervision.Identify and contrast five styles that are inherent in conflict-resolution approaches.Distinguish between supervisory handling of employee complaints in any work setting and grievances in a unionized situation.Explain the major distinctions between grievance procedures, complaint procedures, and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) procedures.
3 AFTER STUDYING THIS CHAPTER, YOU WILL BE ABLE TO: (cont’d) Describe the supervisor’s role at the initial step in resolving a complaint or grievance, especially the need for open and frank communication.Identify supervisory guidelines for resolving complaints and grievances effectively.
4 Disagreement and Conflicts Are Part of the Workplace Substantive ConflictConflict between individuals because of what should be done or what should occur.Personalized ConflictConflict between individuals that occurs because the two parties do not like one another.
5 Disagreement and Conflicts Are Part of the Workplace (cont’d) Workplace Conflict Must Be ResolvedSupervisors become irritated and confused when employee complaints or grievances challenge their authority.Supervisors must act like referees to resolve employee conflicts and guard against losing their tempers.Supervisors should recognize that handling conflicts and resolving employee complaints and grievances are natural components of departmental relationships and the supervisory position.
6 Disagreement and Conflicts Are Part of the Workplace (cont’d) Sources of ConflictCommunication breakdownsCompetition over scarce resourcesUnclear job boundariesInconsistent policy applicationUnrealized expectationsTime pressures
7 Resolving Conflicts Successfully Requires Effective Communication Conflict Resolution StylesApproaches to resolving conflict based on weighing desired degrees of cooperativeness and assertiveness.Withdraw/avoidAccommodate/obligeCompromiseCompete/force/dominateCollaborate/integrate/problem solve
8 Resolving Conflicts Successfully Requires Effective Communication Reciprocity ReflexOne good turn deserves another in return.Interest-based NegotiatingIs understanding why the other party wants what he or she wants, and then working toward a solution that satisfies those needs as well as your own.Occurs when one side doesn’t use its power to force an agreement and both sides seek an option that satisfies their interests.
9 FIGURE 15.2 Conflict-resolution or negotiation styles.
10 Resolving Conflicts Successfully Requires Effective Communication (cont’d) Communication in Resolving ConflictsSupervisors should help the employee focus on the issues by engaging in collaborative problem solving.The most effective communication and problem solving take place when people share perspectives.
11 Complaints and Grievances in Supervision Any individual or group problem or dissatisfaction employees can channel upward to management, including discrimination.GrievanceA formal complaint presented by the union to management that alleges a violation of the labor agreement.
12 Procedures for Resolving Grievances and Complaints Grievance ProcedureNegotiated series of steps in a labor agreement for processing grievances, beginning at the supervisory level and ending with arbitration.Complaint ProcedureA management-designed series of steps for handling employee complaints that usually provides for a number of appeals before a final decision.
13 Grievances and Complaints Even when no formal system is spelled out, it is usually understood that employees have the right to register a complaint with the possibility of appealing to higher-level management. A procedure for handling complaints differs from a union grievance procedure in two primary respects:The employee must normally make the complaint without assistance in arguing the caseThe final decision is usually made by the chief executive or human resource director
14 Procedures for Resolving Grievances and Complaints Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)Approaches to processing and deciding employee complaints internally as an alternative to lawsuits, usually for disputes involving discharge and/or employment discrimination.ODR (Online Dispute Resolution)An alternative approach similar to ADR, but the dispute process is handled on online.
15 Procedures for Resolving Grievances and Complaints Standards for ADRThe opportunity for a hearing before one or more neutral, impartial decision makersThe opportunity to participate in the selection of decision makersParticipation by the employee in assuming some portion of the costs of the dispute resolutionThe opportunity to recover the same remedies available to the employee through litigation and confidentiality of proceedings
16 The Supervisor and the Significant First Step in Resolving Complaints And Grievances During the initial step in handling grievances, there should be:Open, frank communication between the supervisor and the complaining employee and the steward.Open and frank communication exists in hearing and resolving employee complaints at the supervisory level.Employee complaints should be settled amicably by the supervisor whenever possible rather than having them appealed and decided at higher levels.
17 Supervisory Guidelines for Resolving Complaints and Grievances Make time availableListen patiently and with an open mindDistinguish facts from opinionsDetermine the real issueCheck and consultAvoid setting precedentsExercise self-controlMinimize delays in reaching a decisionExplain decision clearly and sensitivelyKeep records and documentsDo not fear a challenge
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