New Tricks have worked with Jane Miller and Karen White of the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) to produce a full programme of development designed to increase awareness of Equality, Diversity and Human Rights, and reduce potential conflict within the workplace.
To support the introduction of NEAS’s Dignity at Work policy, New Tricks have designed and delivered training to a new role, that of the Dignity at Work Officer. This role provides staff with a confidential contact who can listen and help a member of staff work through their options for tackling workplace conflict and issues. The Dignity at Work Officer training provided delegates with the skills to effectively listen and provide empathy to staff in stressful situations. The training also provided them with the skills to remain impartial whilst actively looking to move situations forward and find solutions.
Another initiative has seen the introduction of Mediators, staff who have the skills and training to potentially diffuse conflict situations before they can escalate to formal action. This brings several benefits:
- Staff who are in conflict are able to find a way of resolving their differences
- Conflict is less likely to re-emerge as staff will have developed new coping skills to informally resolve their differences
- The organisation can demonstrate it is proactively looking after staff welfare
- Costly and damaging conflict can be re-directed into more positive actions
In order to support these initiatives New Tricks have also designed a series of Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Awareness courses that challenge beliefs and attitudes, encourage honest and open debate and acknowledge that change and acceptance is greatly increased by openly discussing potential issues.