Cultivating a ’Just’ ‘Safety’ Culture
Fostering a Climate of Collaboration, Communication, Coordination through Conflict Management
This article is our final piece in our conflict series that we’ve been discussing this month. You can follow these links to Part 1 “Conflict: A Cancer to Reckon With”, Part Deux “The Ethics of Conflict Management” , and “Six Organizational Conflict-Causing Factors: An Infographic” to learn the background and concepts of conflict management, ethical organizational due process, and why your organization needs to shift from reactive to proactive, cost-effective solutions that will deliver better outcomes for both employers and employees. We also introduced the our revolutionary solutions that are transforming cultures including the Peer Advisory Board Program (PAB).
The following sections provide the benefits of adopting the PAB program.
Improved organizational learning and development.
PAB reviews of conflict situations or other significant events provide a learning opportunity for all involved in the review including the reviewed manager and employee, the PAB team members, and the organization, including:
- Identifying opportunities for improving trainings, culture, policies. A PAB review can generate a lot of useful data that employers can analyze for gaining insights into the ethical sensitivity and judgment of the participants.
- Identifying and reinforcing values. A PAB is a significant mechanism for gaining clearer insight into the values of the workforce. The participation of both managers and employees in a PAB review produces growth on both sides. Employees and managers who participate in a PAB gain a better understanding of the problems of concern for each group. This in turn leads to a greater appreciation for each side of the employment relationship.
- Improving the quality of supervision. The fact that a conflict may be aired in front of an impartial panel has the psychological incentive to influence more constructive supervisory behaviors.
- Enhancing problem-solving behaviors. A PAB encourages managers and supervisors to proactively and constructively seek to identify and resolve issues. It stimulates and enhances the effectiveness of informal problem-solving behavior, because their existence tends to nudge managers and supervisors to improve the employee relations aspects of their jobs.
- Building individual and collective competences and sensitivity. Further, as a participatory and collaborative approach to decision making, a PAB has the effect of creating greater openness, trust, and collaboration in organization which in turn improves the agility, adaptability to changing situations, and learning ability of the organization. This can help the organization align individual and collective moral awareness.
Significantly less expensive than litigation.
Employers that adopt a PAB Program benefit from avoiding costly, time-consuming, and unpredictable employment litigation. In this era of increased litigation, a PAB is a significant tool for alternative dispute resolution that offers the assurances of due process and fairness while providing quick and inexpensive means for resolving disputes. It is also generally a less adversarial and hostile way of settling and handling complaints.
Principled decision making.
Effective management of employee-related matters must include employees in the decision-making process. A PAB gives employees a decision-making responsibility which leads to more effective decision making. Specifically:
- By using independent peers to review decisions, it increases the objectivity of decisions. Having employees on the peer review panel helps limit the exercise of unchecked managerial power and employees have more confidence that employers are not treating them arbitrarily, capriciously, or maliciously.
- Builds credibility and commitment. The independent nature of PAB reviews enhances the credibility and acceptance of outcomes in resolving disputes by ensuring the integrity of the underlying intent and rationale of decisions.
Reduced human rights risks and corrections of mistakes.
On the one hand, a PAB reduces errors by reinforcing sound practices and behaviors. On the other hand, a PAB corrects mistakes in personnel management by reversing unfair outcomes. Therefore, an employee who is unfairly fired can get reinstated, and a supervisor who harasses a subordinate can be appropriately sanctioned. A PAB creates opportunities for imposing corrective actions that are fair and commensurate with the infractions at issue.
Employee engagement and empowerment.
As a significant participative decision-making tool, a PAB Program is a tangible to demonstrate management’s commitment to, and support of, greater employee involvement which has the effect of boosting employee satisfaction, trust, and engagement.
- Greater commitment to expressing different perspectives and ideas. The participative nature of PAB Programs facilitates consensus building and the voicing of many perspectives, ideas, and objections. This process helps lead towards a well-considered resolution.
- Improved motivation and morale. A significant aspect of cultivating harmonious employee relations is motivation. When employees perceive procedures as fair, they tend to be more committed and more willing to sacrifice on behalf of the organization. Reversing unfair outcomes also improves employee morale and increases confidence in the basic fairness and credibility of management.
- Improved collaboration and coordination. The participative and inclusive nature of a PAB Program enhances a mindset of cooperation and continues improvement rather than conflict between employees and management that in turn can lead to increased productivity.
Building a corporate culture and reputation of integrity.
Ultimately, the resulting decision-making processes from implementing a PAB Program will lead to a better reputation for the employer, which may in turn attract talented individuals to join the organization.