Acas and effective workplaces
An Acas case study

Page 3: Communication and consultation

A company's performance is determined by that of its employees. They will be most effective if they know where they stand (e.g. their duties, obligations and rights) and feel involved in the company's future by taking part in decisions and being well informed. This is particularly important when dealing with change. 

Communication and consultation are essential to an effective workplace (as described) and:

  • improve organisational performance - time spent communicating at the outset can avoid any misunderstanding later;
  • improve management performance and decision making - allowing employees to express their views can help managers arrive at decisions which can more readily be accepted by employees as a whole;
  • improve employees' performance and commitment - employees will perform better if they are given regular, accurate information about their jobs;
  • help develop greater trust;
  • increase job satisfaction - employees are more likely to be motivated if they have a good understanding of their job and how it fits into the organisation as a whole.

These are two-way processes. Channels can include joint groups, team meetings, electronic, written, one-to-one, displays, etc.

 

Alternative Dispute ResolutionAcas 12 Image 3

Even the best-run companies can have problems with employment relations and Acas helps organisations resolve these at an early stage - the 'prevention is better than cure' approach that Acas is keen to spread. Disputes can be costly - especially in staff time, disruption to
the business and the effect they can have on other employees. Tribunal hearings might also result in an award if the case is won by the employee. Acas, therefore, works to prevent employment issues turning into disputes - in other words helping businesses get their employment relationship right. Its work in this area includes:

  • providing mediation services to help resolve conflict between individuals - both employee/employee and employee/employer.
  • training company staff to provide their own mediation service.

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