I want to talk today about the timing of consultations.
A lot of organisations feel that they need to wait until they've got all the answers to all the questions before they start to consult. That's absolutely not what consultation is about. Consultation is about proposals, and discussing the way forward with employee representatives. Often you don't have the answers to all the questions - that's fine. If you start to talk to employee reps about the issues that you don't yet have proposed answers to that's positive, because you're involving them in the process of getting to the answer.
You’ll never believe (when consultation is done well) how many times those employee reps, because employees know how to do the jobs, often have better ideas than managers. Just working together on this as an unknown quantity - what is the answer? Getting that together is far more powerful, and far more effective, for both the organisation and for the employees.
So I really would urge people to certainly not wait to consult once you think you know all the answers. By then you're probably not listening to the different suggestions that employees may have, because you think you've got the answer. It's really powerful, as I say, to really involve employee representatives in formulating those answers.
I hope that helps and if you want any advice or want information about workplace mediation then give us a call!
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