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Workplace conduct – prevention is better than the cure

Each day, millions of Australians go to work and have positive interactions with their customers, colleagues and leaders. It's natural that some days there will be tension within the workplace and employees will make genuine mistakes and, in most cases, everything is forgotten overnight and it's back to business as usual the next day.

However, there are then the situations where this may not be the case such as:

  • discrimination
  • harassment
  • criminal activity
  • anti-competitive behaviour
  • undisclosed conflicts of interest
  • misappropriation
  • unauthorised disclosure of official information.

Where these situations arise, the consequences can often be wide ranging including business disruption, financial and reputational losses, impact on mental health and wellbeing, welfare issues, loss of employment and in extreme cases, lengthy and costly legal proceedings, fines and custodial sentences.

To prevent workplace conduct issues the key is to develop clear and effective policies, codes of conduct, detection, and intervention procedures, which is certainly a common-sense solution, however, within many organisations, still overlooked.

Prevention is better than cure...

The rampancy of workplace issues around the world and across all levels of an organisation, reveals that either codes of conduct are not being established or they're not being effectively implemented from the top down. It also exposes that an ad hoc approach to addressing workplace issues can cause far greater disruption, taking business leaders away from their core business and costing them far more than just their bottom line.

With a clear, relevant, and well-communicated workplace conduct policy in place, one that accurately reflects the organisation's values and is measurably upheld by everyone alike, the above situations can often be prevented. In other words, prevention is better than cure.

The best place to start in preventing workplace conflict and issues is by:

  • Developing clear and effective policies, codes of conduct and procedures unique to your organisation's culture
  • Training your leaders and employees on policies, codes of conduct and procedures to ensure standards and expectations are set and implemented
  • Assessing compliance risks on a regular basis and developing effective controls to reduce the risk of adverse conduct issues
  • Auditing to help detect any adverse conduct issues occurring in your workplace
  • Surveying employees to establish an understanding of your workplace culture and levels of engagement
  • Investigating workplace issues using a clear, pre-defined protocol so you can take immediate action if an issue arises
  • Mediating with an impartial and independent viewpoint to ensure employees resolve conflict swiftly and so that each party involved is satisfied with the resolution.

While these may be commonly understood measures, we understand business owners and managers may lack the time, resources, or experience necessary to develop, implement, train, monitor and audit such measures.

Prominence Consulting has nearly two decades of expertise in putting in place policies, procedures, and training to help prevent conflict in the workplace, as well as expertise in investigating and resolving workplace conduct issues, so please get in touch for a confidential discussion to establish how we can add the most value to your organisation.

Contact us to learn how together, we can shape your future