Building Respect Through the MIRROR Method
The key to building and maintaining a healthy and respectful workplace lies in accurately detecting the sources of the disrespect, objectively determining “who” on your team is responsible for “what”, holding these individuals accountable for their “past” conduct and helping them change their behaviour in the future.
Our six-step MIRROR Method is an accessible, straightforward framework to help leaders through this process.
Leaders who are trained in and consistently apply the MIRROR Method will fulfil their legal responsibilities in an effective manner and at the same time build a productive, respectful and positive environment in which employees can thrive, not merely “survive”.
The first step to success is ensuring you and your leaders are aware of your legal responsibilities to ensure workplace respect. Our courses on the MIRROR Method will give you the necessary foundation to get you started.
After training, leaders often need ongoing support and guidance through workplace “dysfunction”. Rarely is there only “one” issue to address and often, there are competing interests at play. A common example is where one employee’s disrespect and palpable impatience flows from growing resentment/frustration over another employee’s poor performance and lack of productivity. In a more complex example, one employee’s alleged “bullying behaviour” in the form of “unpredictable angry outbursts” might be attributed to a medical condition. In these circumstances, a leader may be asked to accommodate that employee under Human Rights legislation while at the same time ensuring safety and respect for another employee under Workers Compensation legislation.
In these and many other examples, the MIRROR Method needs to be applied in a considered manner and on an individualized basis to ensure leaders properly respond to the many circumstances at play. The MIRROR Method cannot be applied in an over-generalized, rigid, one-size-fits-all manner.
Marli and her team can assist you throughout the MIRROR Method or at any step along the way.
The services we provide are as follows:
M – Monitor – Early detection of dysfunction is the key to a respectful workplace. In order to achieve this, leaders are expected to actively monitor the workplace, on an ongoing basis, for signs and symptoms of “trouble”. Marli can guide leaders through conducting informal “audits” of employee behaviour and team performance/productivity so that leaders can detect “hot spots” sooner rather than later. In more complicated or long-standing cases, Marli and her team are available to conduct audits on behalf of the organization.
I – Inquire – No two “dysfunctions” are ever the same and cannot be addressed in the same way. Once “hot spots” are detected by leaders or reported by others, leaders must assess how serious the situation might be and determine “next steps” based on this assessment.
Marli is available to assist leaders “triage” concerns in order to respond in a measured, individualized and legally defensible manner.
R – Review – In order to accurately determine “who” is responsible for “what”, organizations must conduct a fair and objective review of the situation. A biased or otherwise unfair investigation will result in findings of “fiction” rather than “fact”, and “remedies” will be imposed that only make the situation worse. Courts, arbitrators, and other tribunals recognize the fundamental importance of “fair reviews” and are becoming increasingly critical of investigations that are performed improperly.
Marli and her team are available to conduct these investigations on your behalf. We also are available to guide you through your “internal workplace investigations” by assisting you in asking the right questions, interviewing appropriate witnesses, analyzing the information received, reviewing draft reports and any other support you find helpful during this important process.
R – Remedy – Following an objective review, leaders are expected to remedy the situation by holding specific individuals accountable for their contribution to the dysfunction and by helping them avoid engaging in the same or similar behaviour in the future. An effective, individualized remedy combines elements of accountability for the past and support for the future.
Marli is available to help design defensible and effective remedial plans and show leaders how to implement them in a respectful manner.
O – Operational Reflection and Restoration – Once a review is conducted and remedies are implemented, leaders need to reflect on recurring/systemic/team issues that were identified during or flow from a particular review. Is this “one issue” part of a larger systemic concern? Is this a pattern for a particular individual or team? How is the overall team doing? Have employees returned from medical leave/suspension following a review? Have there been unanticipated transfers or other staffing changes as a result of the review? Were employees compelled to “testify” for/against others within the review?
An important (and often missing) step towards building respect following a review is to engage the team in a process of reconciliation and closure and help them create new “rules of engagement” moving forward. Marli and her team are available to facilitate these workshops.
R – Revisit – Leaders should “revisit” the concern that gave rise to the initial review to ensure the behaviour has stopped and/or the performance has improved. If the concerns have continued, remedies may need to be adjusted or a further “review’ may need to be invoked. Marli can assist in determining “next steps” should this be the case.
Book Marli for a “Conflict Consultation” to explore the various ways in which she and her team can help you successfully implement the MIRROR Method: this can be done on the phone, through Skype or in-person.