A Lesson in Handling Grievances

Format: DVD with learning guide and supporting documentation
Price: £1,199 plus P&P
From: Aspina Learning Resources
Contact: service@aspina.com

Grievance is a difficult topic to train in. It requires an approach that is detailed and methodical, yet which also conveys the seriousness of the subject.

This resource from Aspina certainly ticks all the boxes. It aims to show managers how to handle a grievance so that employees will feel they have been treated fairly.

It also carries the message that managers have to keep control and deal with the issues effectively, and ensure the process complies with legislation.

There is great emphasis on carrying out a hearing that is procedurally correct, an approach encapsulated by two mnemonics: Operate Within the Law (or OWL), and Lesson, which stands for Listen, Establish the facts, Summarise, Specify the solution, Obtain agreement, and Note everything.

I was impressed by the quality of the accompanying learning guide. This clearly laid-out booklet was both lucid and detailed. It puts flesh on the bones of the mnemonics and clarifies procedures.

Each dimension of the mnemonic is defined and refined. For example, there are 14 tips on what makes good listening, from the Lesson mnemonic. And it reminds readers of what they should not do: such as when establishing the facts – the second part of Lesson – do not ask leading questions that are already primed with an answer, or ask multiple questions.

The film is methodical and uncomplicated. It engages with the viewer, but does not entertain. The characters put me in mind of the Mondeo Man defined by the Labour Party in the 1990s , particularly when we see David, an employee with a grievance, standing in his kitchen moaning to his wife.

But perhaps this is the point: managers need to be aware that grievances are not the preserve of militant firebrands, but of ordinary people who just want to do their jobs well and feel appreciated.

This is a well-rounded package that would be trusted and listened to by middle managers. It represents a safe investment of time and money.

Relevance 5 stars (out of 5)
Interactivity 3 stars
Value for money 5 stars

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