Initial Workplace Assessments
Pinpoint the issues and focus the approach to resolution
When there’s workplace friction, one of the biggest challenges for a manager or organisation is to work out the best approach to resolution.
- Should you investigate?
- Should you mediate?
- Does your workplace need a culture review?
- Perhaps some team or manager training and coaching would make a difference?
- And when should you engage some expert help?
These are questions which can dramatically impact a conflict. Choosing the right path at the right time maximises the likelihood the outcomes will create long-term, healthy and effective solutions, resetting working relationships and reducing the risk of intervention from regulators or legal action.
Independent initial workplace assessments are a useful and practical way to ensure you make informed and effective decisions when responding to complaints, tensions and other problems in the workplace.
What is an initial workplace assessment?
An initial independent workplace assessment is an impartial evaluation of the workplace conflict and the options to address the issues. We offer initial workplace assessments to manage conflicts or complaints.
We recommend initial assessments to give you an understanding of the issues so you are equipped with the information you need to make an informed choice about the appropriate response.
When should my organisation consider using an initial workplace assessment?
Independent initial assessments are useful when:
- The issues are unclear
- It is important to clarify if there are additional performance, behavioural or OHS issues that need to be addressed
- You’re uncertain about the best response to address and resolve the issues
- It is practical to give the parties an opportunity to be heard as soon as possible
- There’s a risk that staff members will be unwilling to openly or fully discuss the issues with the management or HR
- There’s a risk that some types of response may be unsuitable or exacerbate the problem
- There’s a risk a respondent may claim bias if managers or HR have been involved in prior issues, or are involved in both the initial assessment and the decision-making process
Contact us to learn more about initial assessments
How will an initial assessment help my organisation?
Initial assessments provide valuable data about complaint triggers, helping your organisation to:
- Understand long term or systemic factors that have contributed to conflicts or tension arising in workgroups
- Proactively and effectively address potential health and safety risks or hazards
- Set up strategies to avoid similar triggers in the future
- Workshop the strengths and weaknesses of different resolution options
- Promptly address, and effectively resolve, current problems
They’re especially useful for organisations where managers or human resource departments are already experiencing time pressures.
Initial assessments can assist employers to develop carefully planned and nuanced responses that achieve lasting and effective solutions. They provide information to enable an employer to avoid expending resources on approaches that may not be well suited to the situation or able to sufficiently resolve both the immediate and underlying problems.
We assess the documentation and conduct discussions with the parties to clarify issues, concerns and expectations
We provide feedback which summarises the issues and sets out a range of options to address and resolve the concerns
We help management implement a response or suggest other providers able to do so
Specialist initial assessment services:
Frequently asked questions about initial workplace assessments
What is the process for an initial workplace assessment?
The initial assessment process involves a briefing discussion with the relevant manager, or human resources. We’ll set up a time to meet with you for a more detailed briefing. We’ll assess the documentation then meet with the relevant parties. This gives the parties an opportunity to discuss the situation, their concerns and identify the steps they feel would be appropriate to resolve the matter.
We use this information to provide a verbal or written summary of the issues and options to address and resolve the concerns, which may include:
- Mediation or facilitated discussion
- Culture review
- Team or manager training and coaching
- Other options as relevant to the specific situation
Do we have to engage in an initial assessment?
Initial workplace assessments are optional but highly recommended. Some policies or agreements require an initial assessment to be conducted prior to a formal process, but they generally do not exclude the option for the employer to commission an independent external assessor to conduct such a process.
When is the best time to seek advice about initial workplace assessment?
Often, the sooner you call us, the more effectively we can help you manage the situation. We can discuss how to step through the issues. How quickly you need to take steps can depend on factors that include:
- The seriousness of the conflict
- The impact on individual welfare and on team productivity or effectiveness
- Whether a person has been stood down pending a response to a complaint
- The roles of the parties involved and impact on operational needs
- The resources available within your organisation to manage this type of conflict
How long will an initial assessment take to complete?
Initial assessment meetings usually take around 1 hour for each party, then approximately half a day to analyse the issues and create verbal or written feedback, depending on the complexity of the matter and the number and availability of parties.
Find the right path with an initial workplace assessment
Use our specialist services to ensure you have the information you need to determine the best way to respond to complaints.