Redundancy consultation tip #1 - understanding the difference between Information, Consultation and Negotiation.

This is the first of the 10 videos on consultation.


I thought it worth explaining the difference between information, consultation and negotiation. Often organisations get confused between the three - but when you think about it it’s fairly simple.


Information is as it says on the tin - it's purely information that people can give you. You can't influence what that information is. For example, the latest share price is this, the profits have been this, etc You might detail some of that information, but it's factual information that one party can give to another.


Negotiation is again exactly as it says on the tin - it’s a negotiation between parties where the parties are looking to reach an agreement. They need to reach an agreement between each other. Often the example is pay negotiations in an organisation that has collective bargaining. The management team and the Trade union (or the Employee Representatives) negotiate a pay settlement.


In the middle is consultation - and that's what this series of tips is really about. Obviously many organisations are going to get into consultation about redundancy. I'm going to come into detail with the remaining nine tips regarding what consultation is, and some tips on the best way to manage consultations, and the best things to do in consultations. It really is the exchanging of views, and the exchanging of both information, and other thoughts or ideas regarding the way that the company is going, the proposal to restructure, etc. It's that sharing and understanding of information that's very fluid, and very critical, regarding those parties understanding each other.


I hope that helps understanding what information, consultation and negotiation are. In a redundancy situation, the key element is consultation.

Probably the main fact to think about in consultation is that it’s the sharing of views but ultimately the organisation (at the end of consultation) needs to make a decision - and it might not be an agreed decision. The preference is for that consultation to be as effective as possible, so ideally it’s a position that all parties believe is the best situation for the company and for the employees.


I hope that helps. I look forward to talking about the other nine tips on consultation in the video links posted on this blog. In the meantime if tou need any help or advice or just want to find out a little more about workplace mediation then give us a call!


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