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Our Client’s challenge

Our Client runs a small but fast growing business. Being very aware of the need for good working practices that could support the business growth our client was examining the business working methods and procedures looking at ways to improve upon the service offering.

Part of this process was to hold informal meeting with members of staff to have discussions about areas of concern and how they could be improved. One such meeting led to a feeling of being ‘singled out’ regarding performance related issues.

Although it had not been the intention to criticise any individuals it was taken personally by one member of staff leading to a possible grievance following a quickly escalated breakdown in the working relationship.

Our Advice

Every Cloud advised our client to write to the employee concerned, explaining the original intention behind the meetings and to invite the employee to a formal meeting with the intention of clearing the air and giving the opportunity to expand on the concerns which led to the negative reaction.

With Every Cloud mediating our Client and the Employee met. Both were given an equal opportunity to make a statement to each other outlining why they thought the relationship had broken down. With Every Cloud encouraging dialogue, as is often the case, it was agreed that most of the problems that had arisen had come about through bad communication.

Every Cloud assisted them to come to an agreement on how they could improve the working relationship and how things could be done differently in future to prevent such a breakdown again.

Resolution

Having a third party present at the meeting helped to diffuse the situation when discussions became heated or emotional. The employee, being a valued member of the team, left the meeting feeling more motivated due to having an opportunity to voice personal concerns and having felt listened to and given the opportunity to make suggestions for improvements. From discussions during the meeting a more formal approach was taken to how the company could measure the quality of its service and the products it produced which included giving constructive feedback to the employees from the management along with an opportunity for more input from the employees by way of agreed and measurable objectives being set. Regular staff meetings are now held which keep employees up to date on the business plans for the future.

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