When I'm at work: Solving complaints - Trainer's guide
- What is a complaint?
- What types of complaints are there?
- Is my complaint serious or just a grumble?
- When should I make a complaint?
You will need:
- this trainer's guide
- your workplace's complaints policies and procedures
- spare workplace induction packages or any written information about induction provided by the workplace
- the Disability Services Standards in Easy English
- computer/data projector to play the CD-ROM
- whiteboard or butcher's paper to record responses
- whiteboard markers or felt-tipped markers.
It is vital that everyone's viewpoints are valued and comments are allowed to be made in an open discussion. You will need to focus on issues relating to the learning objectives of the topic.
Your preparation should include knowing your organisation's policies and procedures in relation to complaints. You should also be familiar with the Disability Services Standards (particularly Standard 7 that concerns complaints).
Learners will need:
- their learner's workbook
- the workplace's induction package or any written information about induction provided by the workplace
- something to write with.
After taking part in this topic, learners should be able to describe:
- what a complaint is
- different types of complaints
- the differences between a workplace grumble and a formal complaint
- some of the questions they could ask themselves to determine those differences
- when to make a complaint.
- Welcome the learners and explain what the session is about.
- Show the slides 'When I'm at work: Solving complaints', 'Topic 1', and 'Points for Topic 1'.
- Ask learners to tell you what they think a complaint is, and to give examples.
- Record the responses on a whiteboard or butcher's paper. Discuss the responses.
- Encourage everyone to contribute something to the discussion.
- Show the slide 'What is a complaint?'.
- Discuss with learners the sorts of things people might make a complaint about at work. Record the responses and discuss.
- Show the slide 'Different types of complaints'.
- Categorise responses recorded above, as per the types of complaints shown in the slide 'Different types of complaints'. For example, which of the complaints recorded would come under 'pay'? Which would come under 'safety'?
- Discuss the workplace's complaints policy – what it looks like and what's in it. Explain why the policy is important, how it can be accessed, and who it supports.
- Discuss the workplace induction package that learners should have received when they started work. Discuss what the various parts of the package mean, including the information about complaints in the workplace.
- Show learners the Disability Services Standards booklet in Easy English. Discuss Standard 7 – Complaints and disputes.
- Discuss with learners what the words 'workplace grumbles' could mean. Record responses on a whiteboard or butcher's paper. Discuss further to clarify the definition.
- Ask learners for some examples of workplace grumbles. Record responses on a whiteboard or butcher's paper. Discuss which suggestions are actually workplace grumbles, and which are of a more serious nature. Rewrite the responses into two columns, with the headings 'grumbles' and 'serious'.
- Ask learners if they would make a formal complaint about any of the workplace grumbles just discussed. Discuss.
- Discuss the differences between workplace grumbles and serious complaints. Ask learners to suggest some questions that they could ask themselves when deciding if a complaint is a workplace grumble, or something more serious.
- Show the slide 'Is your complaint serious or just a grumble?'.
- Show the slide 'When should you make a complaint?', and refer to the previous discussion.
- Show the slide 'Focus questions'.
Summarise the previous discussion by asking learners the following focus questions and discussing their responses.
- What do you think a complaint is?
- What are some of the things that might worry you at work?
- Is there a difference between serious problems that you need to tell someone about and the 'grumbles' we all make at work?
- What are some questions to ask yourself that might help make this more clear?
- Is it a good idea to try to sort a problem out on your own first, before you make a complaint about it?
- What can you do if you have a problem at work?
- Does your workplace have to help you if you want to make a complaint about something or someone at work?
- What tells you that your workplace has to help you?
Show the slide 'Igor's story'. Ask learners to watch and listen to Igor's story. Replay the story if you need to.
Show the slide 'Discussion questions'.
Discuss the following questions about Igor's story with learners.
- What is the main problem leading to Igor's complaint?
- Is it just a workplace grumble?
- Does Igor have a right to complain about Clive's behaviour?
- Does Theresa have to help Igor?
Show the slide 'Workbook activities'.
Debrief Igor's story by discussing these questions with learners. They highlight the issues that this particular story has raised in relation to complaints. They also reinforce the focus questions of this topic.
After you have discussed each debrief question with learners, ask learners to write their responses in their workbooks, in the spaces provided. Responses can be made in any format, for example in writing or in pictorial form. Learners are free to express themselves in whatever ways they want to.
Explain to learners that the workbooks are their own records of the information that they need in relation to complaints in the workplace. There is no compulsion for learners to provide their own responses if it is not appropriate to do so.
Here are the debrief questions for discussion.
- What does Disability Services Standard 7 tell you about?
- Does your workplace have to listen to you?
- Does your workplace have to try to fix your problem?
- Would you make a formal complaint about a work problem if:
- it has been annoying you for a long time
- you think it is going to keep happening
- the problem is making you work badly
- the problem is making someone else work badly
- the problem is making you or anyone else unsafe
- the problem is making you or your workplace look bad?
- What did you learn from Igor's story?
- What would you do if this happened to you?