Met HR chief is all for ‘bashing heads’ to settle disputes

Public sector HR leaders should deal with most staff conflicts by “bashing heads” together rather than getting bogged down with process, according to the most senior HR professional at the Metropolitan Police Service.

Martin Tiplady, HR director at the Met, told Personnel Today that the vast majority of complaints should be dealt with within 24 hours and not left to “fester”.

Speaking at an event held at New Scotland Yard to mark National Leadership Week, Tiplady said processes that had been created to promote fairness could easily lead to issues being blown out of proportion, which would, in turn, foster resentment.

“[Managing conflict] should be about the issues, not the processes being seen to happen,” he said.

“At the start, get the two people together and bash some heads.”

In “98% of cases”, managers should take time to understand the issue, work out a solution and then negotiate a settlement quickly, Tiplady said.

At a separate National Leader-ship Week event, Sir Ian Blair, commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, said leaders should foster a culture where people would contribute rather than remain silent.

The UK’s most senior police officer said that the Met had had a culture of  “easy acquiescence” which had led to many poor decisions being made.

“Leadership has to be based on involvement,” said Blair. “If we don’t involve people in the journey forward then we will fail.”

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