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First point of contact: Why a contact officer is essential

4 March 2014

From workplace bullying to harassment and discrimination, there are a variety of queries and problems an organisation's employees may bring up on a regular basis.

It is therefore essential that your organisation has a suitably trained and approachable individual in place who can proficiently deal with such matters - and a contact officer fits the bill. What are some of the crucial duties that contact officers carry out?

A first point of contact

Employees are often unsure about who to approach first when they have a workplace issue they wish to raise. They may perceive managers and HR staff as being inaccessible and intimidating.

A contact officer, on the other hand, is there with the overt purpose of acting as an accessible first point of contact for all employees. Regardless of the nature of the claim, a worker can feel confident that a contact officer will open their ears to them and commit to helping them resolve their issue.

Employee Relations 101 I ER101 training iHR Australia v2 18.2.14

A role model

Any contact officer should be aware of the organisations values and what type of behaviour is expected. They will act as a role model helping to set the tone of behaviour within a team which is one key step towards preventing issues from occurring. This positive behaviour and allows the contact officer to be more approachable to team members seeking help.

A source of information

A contact officer is there to act as a source of information within the organisation, dealing with workers who have problems by advising them of the options available for resolving their complaints and the complaints process set down by the organisation. Contact officers should keep up to date with the latest changes to organisational policy and procedure.

Uphold and maintain confidentiality

Confidentiality is key when dealing with such sensitive matters - and contact officers abide by a strict code to ensure only the relevant people are privy to the details of a matter.

If you would like to find out more about the role of a contact officer see the relevant section of our media and resources page. For comprehensive, one day contact officer training or contact officer refresher training call 1300 884 687 or make an online enquiry.

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