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Managers must behave in a professional manner at all times and should be aware of how their own behaviour can impact on staff and potentially be perceived as harassment or bullying.  Dignity at work complaints can sometimes arise when good management practices are not being exercised, for instance where there is a lack of consistency of treatment of staff.  Of course managers must and should be allowed to manage, in a constructive and fair way, without fear of complaints.  Exercising the following good management practices can help ensure that complaints are avoided:

  • Taking steps to create a positive work environment;
  • Challenging unprofessional or unacceptable behaviour;
  • Communicating and consulting with staff effectively;
  • Being fair and consistent;
  • Ensuring staff have a good induction and ensuring expectations regarding performance are made clear;
  • Monitoring probation periods in accordance with University policy, providing support where necessary and carrying out staff reviews (appraisals) when probation ends;
  • Managing expectations of staff, monitoring workloads, providing regular feedback and addressing problems constructively when they arise;
  • Managing absence and performance problems in a fair and positive way. 

Managing staff and dealing with challenging staff situations can be very difficult even for experienced Managers but it is a skill that can be developed.  It is important that managers feel empowered to take responsibility for these situations, with support from their HR Business Manager/Advisor when needed.

PPD offers a number of training courses for managers to help them to develop these skills in order to lead their team effectively, to motivate and develop individual team members so they perform at their best and to deal with difficulties as they arise.