Last week I attended a mornings training session on ‘Dignity at Work’ – a useful introduction to the Dignity at Work & Equal Opportunities Policy which as member of staff at Birmingham City University we must adhere to. Details of the policy are located on the HR intranet.
The presenter was very engaging and covered the basics, such as the definitions of the 9 ‘protected characteristics’ and linking those to perceptions of harassment and discrimination. While the focus was on the 9 characteristics he also reminded us that our institutional policy does cover outside this scope too.
I think it was a helpful reminder of our duties as a manager in thinking about the welfare of our staff and that we all have a responsibility in addressing issues as early as possible. I was surprised at the statistic of 70% of problems not being reported and this re-instated the key message of the day, which was to ‘have those awkward conversations’ and try and get to the root of any problems early.
In the session we also touched on the ‘Response to Dominance Model’ and was a good reminder that we can react differently to the same situation on different days which is helpful in recognising the need to get yourself in the right frame of mind if you wish to tackle something rather than reacting instantly. I often find myself typing out a response to an email immediately then realising that it would be a better reply if I gave myself the time to step away and come back to it with a new perspective.