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3 Best Practice Steps for Consultation and Cooperation In the Workplace

April 05, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 191

There are numerous benefits for employers who adhere to best practice consultation and cooperation mechanisms. These guidelines encourage communication between management and employees and in some cases are not just procedures but the actual employment law.

The most common instances in which management should consult and cooperate with their workforce that may include their trade unions are listed below:

- When the business is planning to lay off more than 10 employees due to economic, structural, technological or similar reasons. This number will obviously vary depending on the size of the enterprise.

- When the company intends to make significant changes in the workplace that affect employees hours or other conditions including pay.

- In relation to employees requesting changes to their working arrangements; example of this flexible working hours that may include working from home.

- In case of any changes to the workplace health and safety policies, processes or procedures.

Businesses can use following vehicles to begin and continue delivering the consultation and cooperation process in the workplace: have regular staff meetings, establish workplace committees, have scheduled performance and development reviews, send out regular written communications in a form of email newsletters and finally encourage employee feedback during the meetings or even by sending internal online surveys.

Regardless of the consultation delivery mechanism, employers need to be conscious of varying workforce backgrounds, cultural, language and other differences and barriers. These best practices can be implemented through human resource policies, workforce agreements or other administrative structures.

Three best practice steps for consultation and cooperation in the workplace are:

1. Consult employment lawyers first and then advise the staff about what the company is considering in changing, what process the company intends to follow and who will be making the decision.

2. This is the consulting step and it involves communicating more details of the proposed changes and how that is going to affect the business and employees. Ask for staff feedback and value everyone's opinion especially the affected group or a department. Achieve this through meetings, forums, emails or online surveys. Once feedback is collected, carefully consider the opinions and suggestions and try to improve the process of the proposed changes.

3. This is the review and implementation step that involves finally analyzing the ideas and information received and evaluate that against business requirements. After noting and recording the decision and rationale behind it, communicate the decision and reasons back to the employees and / or their representatives. Implement the change after which the business should seek a final feedback on how the overall decision making process and implementation could be improved in the future.

Although employer is not obligated to obtain the consent from employees and their representative unions regarding proposed changes, the consultative process will improve the cooperation in the workplace. Any changes however need to comply with any government labor laws.

McArdle Legal firm in Sydney help with all employment law matters while McArdle Migration lawyers assist clients obtain work visas in Australia. Combined, we help customers daily and they include employees, employers and new immigrants.

Source: EzineArticles
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