dispute resolution guidance session

Performance objective
You will demonstrate the skills and knowledge required to manage difficulties and
conflicts in order to achieve positive work outcomes.
Assessment description
Using the simulated business information provided, and in response to a scenario, you
will plan and conduct a role-play in which you provide a colleague with guidance regarding
a dispute between the colleague and a member of their team. You will then develop an
action plan in consultation with the colleague.
1. Read the scenario and role-play information in Appendix 1.
2. Review and familiarise yourself with the JKL Industries simulated business
documentation, including strategic plans and operational plans. Note what the
organisation does, how it does it, what its goals and objectives are, and who its
stakeholders and customers are.
3. Plan to lead a role-played guidance session for a peer manager in response to the
4. Complete the first activity in the action plan template provided in Appendix 2

5. Plan how you will:
a. Build trust with your colleague through assuming a calm, professional and
emotionally receptive attitude and demeanour.
b. Adjust your personal communication style appropriately to meet the needs
(both emotional and technical) of your colleague.
c. Discuss relevant grievance policies and procedures for resolving conflict in
accordance with organisational and legislative requirements.
d. Discuss strategies for identifying root causes of conflict and for resolving the
e. Collaborate with your colleague to develop an action plan (completing the one
from Appendix 2 you have already begun to implement by leading this
session), including at least three actions your colleague to take to resolve the
issue with their employee.
6. Arrange a time and place with your assessor to participate in the role-play.
7. Perform your role-play in accordance with the specifications set out below.
8. Submit your completed action plan within the agreed timeframe.
You must:
● participate in a guidance session role-play
● submit an action plan.
Your assessor will be looking for evidence of your ability to:
● provide leadership through your own behaviour, including:
○ professional conduct that promotes trust with internal and external contacts
○ adjusting own interpersonal communication style to meet the organisation’s
cultural diversity and ethical environment
● develop and/or implement processes and systems to manage difficulties, including:
○ identifying and resolving conflicts and other difficulties according to
organisational policies and procedures
○ planning how to address difficulties
○ providing guidance, counselling and support to assist co-workers in resolving
their work difficulties.
● explain and discuss procedures for conflict resolution
● discuss relevant legislation

● interact with others through:
○ adapting your personal communication style to model behaviour and build
trust and positive working relationships
○ playing a lead role in situations requiring effective collaboration
● get the work done through:
○ taking responsibility for planning in collaboration with others
○ developing action plans
● demonstrate writing skills through preparing action plans that incorporate
appropriate vocabulary, grammatical structure and conventions.
Adjustment for distance-based learners
● No changes to the assessment procedure or specification are required.
● The role-play may be conducted via video or teleconferencing.
● Documentation may be submitted electronically.
● A follow-up interview may be required (at the discretion of the assessor).

Appendix 1: Scenario – JKL Industries
JKL Industries overview
JKL Industries is an Australian-owned company, selling forklifts, small trucks and spare
parts to industry. They also have a division that leases forklifts and small trucks.
The company’s head office is in Sydney and has branches in Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth,
Adelaide and Canberra.
After 12 years in business, focusing on forklifts and small trucks, JKL Industries has
negotiated the sales rights to a range of medium and large trucks from an overseas
supplier. This opportunity will provide JKL Industries with an advantage in range over its
Sales results over the past five years have indicated strong growth in forklift and truck
sales, which have averaged 10% sales growth per annum. The rental market has been in
decline for the past three years due to the reduced costs of these vehicles and some
taxation benefits to industries who purchase these vehicles.
Taking the sales rights opportunity will, however, entail some significant changes,
including significant changes to the current organisational structure. The company will
reposition itself to focus solely on retail sales and service and exit the rentals market, in
which forces such as competition and consumer choice reduce potential profitability.
In accordance with the organisation’s values, JKL Industries intends (to the extent
feasible) to recruit from within the company and up-skill or re-skill existing employees
presently working in rentals who wish to remain with the company.
Given the company’s previous history of employee grievances over pay and conditions
and current plans to restructure, JKL Industries has identified poor communications and
an organisational climate of conflict as a risk to business goals.
Moving forward, the organisation intends to build and maintain a positive organisational
culture, reduce risk and achieve organisational goals through:
● developing an effective policy framework for managing internal communications
and consultation, in accordance with organisational objectives, business ethics,
and compliance requirements
● communicating and building support for organisational initiatives and objectives
● managing information flow to:
○ provide managers and employees with at-hand information to perform their
work responsibilities
○ communicate ideas for improvement (top-down and bottom-up)
○ facilitate feedback both to and from employees and management on relevant
work performance and outcomes of consultation.Role-play information: HR Business Partner
You are an HR Business Partner working in the JKL Industries Brisbane branch. You report
directly to the HR Manager in the Sydney Head Office. As an employee of the Brisbane
branch, you also report to the Brisbane Branch Manager. You work to provide information
to employees, team leaders and managers at the branch, facilitate service delivery
through HR centres of excellence, such as compliance and training and development, and
partner with managers to assist them in strategising, workforce planning and
development, and in meeting the needs of their customers, employees and the business
as a whole.
A peer manager (from Rentals) has made an appointment to come to you about an
employee grievance.
Employee grievance
A rental employee of the Brisbane branch is concerned about plans to restructure the
business. The employee is extremely angry and feels that they:
● will definitely lose their job as a result of the restructure
● will not be given the opportunity to retrain.
They would like to formally complain that their manager has not provided rental
employees with opportunities to retrain.
In addition, the employee feels they must be underpaid because they know people in
the same job in the same industry who are making much more. They don’t understand
the basis of their pay or conditions.
Finally, the employee is currently organising other rental and sales employees for a
possible strike. They intend to pressure their union into supporting and publicising the
You know that the Rentals Manager is very concerned about the impact of the grievance
on team cohesion and, potentially, the goals and objectives of the organisation. You also
suspect that the manager will be hurt or angry themselves, as they have indicated their
sincere desire to improve employee relations within their team through better
communication and relationship-building.
The trouble is that while the manager may have the best intentions, they are relatively
inexperienced and may not be approaching the conflict with the most productive mindset.
And they may not have all the conflict resolution tools, tactics and strategies that you are
equipped with as a more experienced HR specialist

.In addition, you are aware of the following facts:
● JKL Industries’ firm policy and intention is to retrain rental employees to retain
talent (retraining is in JKL’s interest).
● So far the employee has adhered to the grievance policy as intended by the
organisation. The grievance procedure sets out a process whereby disputes are
kept at the lowest level. Employees should take their grievance first to their
immediate supervisor, which the employee has done. This gives managers the first
opportunity to respond appropriately, which is only fair. The Rentals Manager now
has an opportunity to resolve the dispute early.
● The employee is paid to the terms of the relevant modern award
(MA000089 Vehicle Manufacturing, Repair, Services and Retail Award 2010), but
that all employees will soon be able to negotiate possibly much better pay and
conditions in upcoming enterprise bargaining.
In your meeting with the Rentals Manager to provide guidance, lead the meeting through
the following stages:
1. greeting the manager
2. listening to their side
3. responding to the manager appropriately
4. working with the manager to come up with viable solutions
5. documenting activities in an action plan.
You will also, as appropriate:
● listen to the manager: understand the facts as they see them and understand their
● adopt an appropriate leadership/communication style
● be reflective, regulate your emotions, and refrain from reacting
● explain the facts as you understand them, including providing an explanation of the
grievance policy, its benefit to the organisation, and the relevance of at least one
piece of legislation
● help the manager to understand reasons for the grievance
○ Note: Given the climate of fear and suspicion that has existed within JKL
Industries, such a grievance may not be very unlikely. It is also possible that
plain communications of facts and organisational intentions may have failed
because of the underlying emotional work context. As such, the complaint
should not necessarily be a cause of offense

● using your knowledge of dispute resolution, collaborate with the manager to
determine a series of at least three activities to resolve the conflict with the
employee and complete an action plan (use the template provided in Appendix 2)
● offer to mediate in the dispute, if required, or help to provide assistance if it
requires further escalation.
Given the company’s industrial relations history and restructure plans, and history of
conflict and mistrust, contributing to positive employee relationship-building through
assisting managers will constitute a key measure of your value to the organisation.