When I'm at work: Solving complaints - Trainer's guide
- How can a complaint make things better at work?
- What are my rights?
- What does my workplace have to do if I make a complaint?
- What you will need
- What learners will need
- Learning objectives
- Delivering the session
- Dianne's story
You will need:
- this trainer's guide
- the workplace's complaints policies and procedures (and copies for learners)
- the workplace's code of conduct (and copies for learners)
- Disability Services Standards booklets in Easy English
- Disability Services Standards posters for Standards 4 and 7 (from FaHCSIA's 'Information kit for Disability Employment Services') – if the posters are unavailable, use the Disability Services Standards booklets in Easy English and refer to the relevant pages when discussing them with learners
- 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, and Standard 4 that concerns respecting privacy), and have access to your organisation's code of conduct.
You could consider asking a representative from the organisation's human resources department to discuss the complaints policies and procedures and the code of conduct with learners.
Learners will need:
- their learner's workbook
- something to write with.
After taking part in this topic, learners should be able to describe:
- how making a complaint can make things better in the workplace
- Disability Services Standards 4 and 7
- what their rights are if they make a complaint
- what the workplace's responsibilities are in the complaints process
- how they should not be afraid to speak up and make a complaint.
- Welcome the learners and explain what the session is about.
- Show the slides 'When I'm at work: Solving complaints', 'Topic 2', and 'Points for Topic 2'.
Note: A representative from the organisation's human resources department could be invited to discuss the next two bullet points with learners.
- Discuss and explain the workplace's complaints policy and procedures and the workplace's code of conduct.
- Show learners what these documents look like, and where they can find the information so that they can have a look at it themselves (provide them with a copy each).
- Ask learners if they think making a complaint can help make things better at work. Ask for some examples. Record suggestions on a whiteboard or butcher's paper, and discuss the responses made.
- Show the slide 'Complaints can make things better'.
- Tell the following story as an example of how making a complaint can help make things better at work.
The gloves you wear to protect your hands at work give you a rash. How will your supervisor find out if you do not say something?
Your supervisor will help you with the problem. You could try other gloves that do not give you a rash.
If other workers are getting rashes from those gloves too, your supervisor might tell the company that makes the gloves. The company could make the gloves better so that they do not give workers rashes anymore.
- Ask learners to suggest some things that could go wrong in the workplace. Record responses on a whiteboard or butcher's paper, and discuss them.
- What would happen if those problems were not fixed? Suggest that making a complaint is one way things could be made better. Ask learners if they can think of an example that describes when this has happened.
- Ask learners if they remember the Disability Services Standards booklet – hand them out and give learners a few minutes to look through them.
- Discuss with learners what the Standards are for.
- Hold up the poster for Standard 7 (if this is unavailable, use a copy of the Easy English booklet). Ask learners to find Standard 7 in their booklets.
- Discuss that Standard 7 relates to complaints. Discuss what the service has to do for employees if a complaint is made.
- Hold up the poster for Standard 4 (if this is unavailable, use a copy of the Easy English booklet). Ask learners to find Standard 4 in their booklets.
- Discuss that Standard 4 relates to privacy, particularly how that relates to complaints.
- Show the slide 'Disability Services Standards' that reinforces the previous discussion.
- Ask learners to tell you what some of their rights are in the workplace. Record their responses on a whiteboard or butcher's paper, and discuss them. Refer to your workplace's policies and procedures again if you need to.
- Extend the discussion to include employees' rights in relation to complaints in the workplace.
- Show the slide 'Your right to complain'.
- Show the slide 'Do not be afraid to complain'. Discuss each bullet point on the slide to ensure that learners are reassured that they should not be afraid if they make a complaint.
- Show the slide 'Focus questions'.
Summarise the previous discussion by asking learners the following questions.
- What does the workplace's code of conduct tell you about?
- Do you have a right to make a complaint at work?
- Is it important to fix something at work if it is wrong? Why?
- If you cannot sort a work problem out on your own, who do you need to talk to about it?
- What does Disability Services Standard 7 tell you about?
- What does Disability Services Standard 4 tell you about?
- What are some of the things you need to know about making a complaint?
- Does your workplace have to tell you about those things?
- Will anything bad happen to you if you make a complaint?
Show the slide 'Dianne's story'. Ask learners to watch and listen to Dianne's story. Replay the story if you need to.
Show the slide 'Discussion questions'.
Discuss the following questions about Dianne's story with learners.
- What is the main problem leading to Dianne's complaint?
- Does Dianne have a right to complain about her cold food?
- Is Dianne right to talk to her supervisor about her problem?
- Is Dianne happy with Lenny's proposed solution?
- Does the workplace have to help Dianne with her problem?
Show the slide 'Workbook activities'.
Debrief Dianne'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.
- How can a complaint make things better at work?
- What are some of your rights if you want to make a complaint?
- What are some of the things that your workplace has to tell you about if you want to make a complaint?
- What did you learn from Dianne's story?
- What would you do if this happened to you?