Workplace Restoration Q&A with Anne Grant
Cathy Sheldrick, Queen’s IRC Marketing Assistant, 2018
Queen’s IRC sat down with Anne Grant, the facilitator for our new Workplace Restoration program, to find out more about the topic and the program. In the interview, Anne shares her experience in workplace restorations, including the surprises she’s had along the way. She gives some insight into what makes workplaces toxic and how this program will help organizations that are experiencing disruptions like prolonged conflicts, increased harassment or grievance claims, leadership issues, strikes, investigations or significant organizational changes.
What kind of problems do organizations have that would require a workplace restoration?
A workplace restoration might be needed after a polarizing event like a big investigation. It might be a merger or a strike. It might be difficulties with management. It might be a group of rogue employees causing problems. Often after a strike or lockout, a few rogues, union or management, can keep the conflict alive.
One of the things that I've really seen over the last ten to fifteen years is a need to address the conduct in the workplace. In general, it’s because people are getting into bad habits and engaging in behaviours that are not acceptable in this day and age, as we're seeing in the media right now. People get sloppy, they engage in a lot of things that they shouldn’t, and people put up with it for a long time.
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5 Benefits of Workplace Conflict
Kari Boyle, Queen’s IRC Facilitator, 2017
It may seem like an oxymoron to have the words “benefit” and “conflict” in the same sentence. Our workplaces today often involve varying levels of interpersonal and institutional conflict and so much energy is devoted to prevention and management it is understandably difficult to understand how conflict could possibly have a positive side!
It helps to remember that conflict (including disagreement, difference of opinion, concern, complaint, friction, etc.) is not inherently good or bad. It is an inevitable result of human beings associating with each other in the world, in our families and in our workplaces. There are many articles and blog posts trumpeting the “benefits of conflict” but, on reflection, this phrase is much too simplistic. It is not the conflict that directly creates benefits, it is dealing with the conflict well. The key to unlocking the benefits of conflict is learning to engage effectively with conflict when it arises.
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