HR & Diversity
Management Helpline : 01793 338888
Visit and contribute to
our blog: http://hrdiversityblog.blogspot.com
"I just wanted to thank you for the
two pieces of work that you carried out for me as head of this
As a line manager it is difficult to deal
with people who have borderline performance, make notes about
everything that happens to them and are disruptive behind the
scenes. They take a long time to come to the top of the list and
when they do the situation is complex. Of course it is always
better to prevent such situations progressing but I suspect that
most managers with a large number of staff and years experience
will recognise the scenario.
I now recognise what a fantastic resource
your company provides when such matters occur. In both cases,
which had different outcomes, your approach was to work and focus
towards a satisfactory outcome rather than producing a report
of what was happening and walking away."
NHS Trust, July 2007.
The NHS situation
According to the National NHS staff survey 2008,
the organisation needs much support in areas of Diversity, Bullying
in the workplace, Harassment and Abuse. Staff are apparently being
bullied by both 'their line managers and other colleagues'.
This is not an isolated incident but pervades the
NHS nationwide. Further the number of staff being treated this
way is 'similar to previous years'. This means
that current resolution methodologies are not gaining on the problem.
From the experience of HR & DM the majority
of the problem lies with line management. Managers seem not to
know how to deal with issues in the workplace. This stems from
not looking at root causes of disputes and then the need for them
to be addressed as quickly as possible to 'nip them in the bud'.
Of course it is not easy, but there are methodologies to enable
a line manager to both recognise the symptoms and then apply a
In doing this good managers can :
- Keep a harmonious team spirit to operations
- Minimise downtime and the impact to patient care
- Reduce or even eliminate cost to their Trust and thus the NHS
HR & DM has investigated many situations in the NHS, as typified
by the quote at the head of this page. However, it seems that, for
whatever reason, line management training in Diversity and Bullying
in the workplace is either not recommended or not available within
the NHS. This is a pity as much good could be achieved with comparatively
Please call us to discuss ways in which we could help - 01793 338888
from HR & Diversity Management
As a crucial part of the service we provide from HR & Diversity
Management (HR&DM), Investigations into workplace bullying,
sexual harassment and harassment in workplace are the most significant.
Both employees and employers see benefit from a third party bullying
in the workplace investigation.
Trade Unions, line management and Company Solicitors see third
party bullying investigations positively, since in-house investigations
have a bias which is very difficult to overcome. A third party
investigation is impartial and independent.
HR&DM bullying and harassment investigations are based on
a tried and tested model (a formula which is the copyright of
HR&DM). We have been investigating issues of this nature -
and advising management on issues of this nature, for over a decade.
We always seek to determine the cause of Bullying or Harassment
and to establish whether allegations are founded and to look at
'the bigger picture' - ie: the culture, performance, turnover
of staff, patterns, procedures etc. If it is a definite case of
one person who is an out and out workplace bully, so be it. The
bully may need a level of training to establish whether or not
the situation is in any way recoverable. If the bully is not receptive
to change or if he/she does not acknowledge their position, formal
action may be necessary. To ignore such an attitude and/or conduct
is non-productive - particularly in an ever-changing world of
Often, an investigation will uncover working practices which
have crept into the workplace, but which are unacceptable.
- Carry out your own with
Especially in the Public Sector we are seeing organisations that
wish to carry out their own internal investigations, but find
that complainants are rejecting findings on the grounds of bias:'Well
they would find in favour of their employer wouldn't they?'
HR&DM understands this and is now proposing to support organisations
through internal investigations. This will mean that in future,
organisations will be able to cut the costs of a full outsourced
investigation but still see the benefits of an unbiased finding.
For each organisation that wishes to take part HR&DM will:
1. Provide a 1 day training course on how to carry out a full
investigation using the copyrighted '20 step Investigation &
Dispute Resolution Model - IDRM'. The course will be delivered
by an HR&DM experienced investigator.
2. Delegates will also be given a copy of the 20 step IDRM.
3. During each investigation HR&DM staff will be available
to give full operational support, or telephone support as required.
4. When the investigation has been concluded, an HR&DM investigator
will audit the findings to ensure that there is no bias and that
the investigation has followed the '20 step IDRM'.
This step is vitally important to ensure that the complainant
becomes fully aware that there has been no bias in the findings
and that all recommendations can be fully justified.
If this is of interest please call David Pratt on 01793
Further, training of managers and other policies can be introduced
which will enable managers to quickly stamp on bullying or harassment
at the first signs. This is especially important in cases of sexual
harassment and promotes a happy and productive workplace.
As a rule the investigation is opened to anyone in the company/workplace
to contribute, including the alleged Bully. However, so that anyone
can contribute, interviews can remain confidential. (Case Law:
ASDA v others). This means that an interviewee can speak freely
and openly without fear of reprisals and the evidence they give,
which should be factual (not hearsay), is protected. This methodology
is also the best way of providing precise details of the dispute,
to enable resolution. It also enable the employers to reasonably
expect that workplace harmony has been re-introduced.
It is our intention to help resolve a Workplace Dispute, be it
Bullying, Harassment or Discrimination, of any kind, without litigation
and resolution through an Employment Tribunal. This can only be
achieved if we are totally impartial and we steer well clear of
emotional ties and base our findings on corroborated facts. Further,
we do not prejudge the outcome of our Investigation.
During 2006 25% of cases found that the instigator, the alleged
victim, was in fact, the bully. Line management had followed procedures.
Cases tend only to go to Tribunal where both sides fail to co-operate
in the investigation.
TRAINING INVESTIGATION &
MEDIATION - TIM
(In deference to the work
done by Tim Field in this area)
During our Investigation and Consultancy work we have seen that
Management attitudes and more importantly basic training have been
significant influences on the occurence of Bullying in the Workplace
and its lack of resolution. We advocate and train managers to think
through both the ethos of their team and the liklihood of bullying
occuring in the first place, but also the simplicity of a 'nip in
the bud' solution.
By training managers in how to look for basic signs of a potential
dispute, and then how to step in to prevent escalation, can save
time, money and inevitably litigation.
Please call us for details of our Diversity Training for Line Managers
Investigation : 20 Step IDRM
At HR&DM we have designed a model which ascertains, very early
on, whether an employee grievance is vexatious or not. This model
also assists employers with their line of defence as it identifies
where policies need reviewing and where training or diversity initiatives
are required to ensure problems do not occur again. There simply
is no recommended guideline, or accredited process, for conducting
workplace investigations in workplace. This formula, which we call
‘The 20-Step Investigation & Dispute Resolution Model’
(20-Step IDRM) is years ahead of its time. We have been providing
an independent investigation service to employers, primarily in
the public sector, for several years now and apply this process.
We were the first organisation in the UK to offer this service.
Our model has been successfully applied, in industry and three Employment
Tribunal Chairmen have complimented us on it’s structure and
practical application. The 20-Step IDRM looks at management style,
policies, statistics in terms of turnover and absence, performance
patterns, trends and many other aspects which ‘paint a picture’
in terms of the culture of the working environment where the issues
This model is the intellectual property of HR & Diversity Management
Limited and has been copyright protected.
Call us on 01793 338888 for further information, or email us on
firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like support with dispute resolution
Employment Tribunal hearings increased by 25% in 2006 ! This was
not the Governments objective when they introduced the 3-Step Dispute
Resolution process under The Employment Act 2002; Dispute Resolution
Reforms 2004. If this figure concerns you and/or if you need assistance
with work related conflict issues, we urge you to consider the benefit
of our TIM products, TRaining, Investigations and Mediation. BERR
recommends this approach in the Michael Gibbons Review dated March
2007, and it has subsequently been incorporated in the Employment
Act 2008. We provide such services ; completely impartial, independent,
and professional. We can help you reach an amicable resolution and
save you unnecessary legal costs. Four of our advisers are Chartered
Fellows of the CIPD.
Organisations we have
Swindon Borough Council
The Fire Service College
The Prison Service
NHS Mental Health, SW1
Nottingham Play Forum
Central Swindon Medical Centre
Oxford Brookes University
Merton Timber, Wales
Barnett, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust
Cricklade Town Council
Once Upon A Time Day Nursery
Wiltshire and Swindon Fire Authority
Danesfield House Hotel and Spa
W H Smith
Rowan Foods, Wrexham
Bruce Stephenson Limited
Hammersmith Primary Trust
Sara Shoemark Beauty Salon
Three County Police Constabularies
Two Area Health Authorities
.........numerous private organisations
We always enter into a Confidentiality Agreement with the
Client organisation and where applicable with the complainant also.
The model HR&DM follow is the intellectual property of the Company.
We observe Data Protection Laws and after 3 years we would endeavour
to return all Company files and documentation to both the Client
and the complainant as relevant.
An Investigation into workplace bullying, harassment or discrimination
can take from 3 weeks to 3 months and is justified in terms of the
cost of litigation and damage to the organisation if a contentious
situation is not resolved amicably.
Witnesses are interviewed and statements collated observing Right
to Be Accompanied laws and statutory rights.
If the alleged victim is stressed, or off work, she/he is asked
to sign a Medical Waiver to show that they have consented to the
investigation. (This is done even when they have instigated the
investigation via the HR & Diversity Management Limited helpline).
The Report will conclude with Recommendations to the CEO/MD. It
will refer to statutory laws and will, invariably, quote case law
and cite examples.
It will refer to internal procedures and state whether management
has followed procedures.
The Report will make recommendations in respect of Coaching, Training
of Line Managers and initiatives to ensure things do not go wrong
in the future.
We can also offer an alternative to dismissal in some cases where
a senior Manager/Director has transgressed policies and/or procedures.
Trade Unions will welcome the fact that an independent
firm has investigated matters, and employees will not be able to
say that management has influenced the investigation.
The Solicitor will be able to use the Report if the case
is referred to a Tribunal.
Although we have signed Confidentiality Agreements with all our
clients, should an organisation need to talk to an organisation
for whom we have carried out a project, we are prepared to ask clients
to talk to serious potential clients to confirm our provenance.
Where Confidentiality Agreements are signed, details are not disclosed
to a third-party.
Take the Initiative
Finally, you do not have to be in a contentious situation
to take the initiative and call us in for support. We can ensure
suitable Policies and Procedures are in place. We can train your
staff to understand the contributions they can make towards a safe
and productive workplace and we can ensure that you are legally
protected with a very strong defence should a case arise that is
not easily resolved.
For further support on Training,
Investigations and Mediation, please call us on 01793 338888.
Security and Privacy are very important to us.
to review our policy