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Top 3 causes of workplace complaints

This year, iHR Australia is conducting research around our workplace investigations including the nature of complaints, contributing factors and key observations.

Although the final results and report for quarter one are yet to be released, early indications are giving some interesting insights:

When examining factors which have contributed to a complaint being made, we need to look at a fairly broad picture. The top 3 contributing factors we have so far identified for complaints investigated in quarter one of 2013 are:

1. Interpersonal relationship issues

2. Performance Management

3. Lack of / insufficient training

Interpersonal relationship issues

It is sometimes easy for managers to fall into the trap of seeing staff relationships as none of their business or something over which they have no control. However, it is important to remember that personality clashes and differences of opinion need to be managed properly in order to minimise tension and ensure that employees feel equally valued. At work, we do not expect to be best friends with everybody but treating others with respect is essential and sometimes workers may need to be reminded that behaviour is also a performance issue.

Performance Management

Ineffective or absent performance management strategies do not serve anyone. Too often, poor behaviour or issues with how a person performs operationally are left unchecked. A lack of performance management could lead to a worker being unaware of their shortcomings and therefore struggling to improve, possibly causing frustration within their team. Similarly, inappropriate behaviour which is ignored may leave other team members feeling anxious or undervalued.

Lack of / insufficient training

Broadly speaking, training may be seen as the key to avoiding complaints about behaviour. This includes training for managers; to provide them with the skills and knowledge to confidently lead on behaviour and manage issues that arise, but also training for employees to ensure they know what is expected of them in terms of behaviour at work, and how to address any issues they may have.

A further key point about training is that any person in an organisation who has the responsibility for investigating complaints must be properly trained. iHR Australia also conducts reviews of internal investigations and it is difficult to highlight just how important it is for organisations to train internal investigators properly to avoid costly and embarrassing mistakes.

To learn more about iHR Australia's workplace investigation services, including reviews of internal investigations and Workplace Investigation Officer training call 1300 884 687 or make an online enquiry.

The full results and report of this research will be released soon. iHR Australia is committed to confidentiality; all information shown above is general or statistical in nature and does not refer to any specific case.

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