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Human Resource (HR) practitioners have been asked to acquire mediation skills and keep open the channels of communication with their workers to enhance productivity and create an organization where conflict can be prevented, minimized or properly managed.

Mr. Austin Gamey, an Appropriate Dispute Resolution (ADR) Consultant said that HR managers have a unique mediating role in ensuring productivity and growth of their organizations.  This can only be achieved when they possess relevant communication skills, honesty and when the understanding of the proper use of language in managing people are employed.

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He explained that the entirety of the Labour Act 2003, (Act 651) is bordered around principles that guide labour relations for effective Labour-Management-Cooperation in the country and not to be seen as a legal weapon for adversarial relationship, hence the need for HR practitioners to engage in a relational rather than a legalistic approach when dealing with issues of conflict in the discharge of their duties.

Speaking at a one day workshop, organized by the Institute of Executive Studies (IES) in Accra on the theme “Legal Aspects of Human Resource Management’’, Mr. Gamey, who was the lead facilitator admonished Human Resource practitioners that the key to people management is understanding the rules that govern them as people in relation to institutional objectives and policies.

Mr. Gamey, who is also a labour expert said that the key to successful HR functions does not lie in an adversarial approach when dealing with issues. As HR Managers, they are expected to be intermediaries between Labour and Management in order to create a good working environment where Labour-Management-Cooperation exist.

The workshop was organized to equip Human Resource practitioners on the legalities involved in the discharge of their duties with a working knowledge in conflict resolution.

The programme brought together Human Resource Managers, Union Executives and General Managers of various state and private institutions including the Ghana Fire Service, Ghana Investment Promotion Council, Capital Group and other Banking Institutions.

In his submission, Mr. Gamey said, “in recent times there has been a lot of legal issues relating to Human Resource functions in prominent state institutions which could have been avoided if HR practitioners understand their unique role of managing people in line with the provisions of Act 651.”

He explained that Human Resource Management has a unique function in every organization and as such its success is not to be measured by the number of cases won in court or at the National Labour Commission. “HR practitioners must adopt the use of People Using Language Skills Effectively (PULSE), and the principles of Labour-Management-Cooperation as a top guide in their official relations in order to be agents of change and bring out the best in their respective organizations” he said.

To this end, HR practitioners must not be legalistic but rather seek to understand the beliefs, expectations, assumptions, concerns and hopes (BEACH) of people working within their organizations in order to effectively assign roles and responsibilities and provide a system for gathering information to avoid conflicts and adjust patterns to create effectiveness and efficiency in the organization.

Participants were also taken through various stages of organizational conflict resolution including; Self mediation, Preventive mediation, Managerial mediation, Executive mediation, and Professional Mediation and the technicalities of each.

Mr. Paul Atsu Fiawoo, General Manager of Bonzaah Rural Bank Ltd and a participant at the programme expressed his delight on the practical approach of the training, which according to him is very relevant in the discharge of his duties. He explained that the programme was an eye opener to hindrances of effective HR functions which are ineffective communication and ignorance of the perceptions and BEACHs of workers as HR Managers always employ a legalistic approach in policy implementation rather than a corporate and relational approach that will bring a better result.

 By: Fred Gadese-Mensah/adrdaily.com



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ADR Daily is a specialized news portal with a focus on providing authentic news, information and research analysis on Appropriate Dispute Resolution (ADR), Human Resource Management (HRM) and Industrial Relations Management (IRM) in Ghana and beyond. This platform serves as an information resource base for the progress of the ADR, HRM and IRM industries, and seeks to promote professionalism in ADR practice by supporting a network of ADR professionals within and across nations and continents. ADR Daily keenly encourages the mass adoption of ADR mechanisms, particularly negotiation, mediation and arbitration for the resolution of disputes in all spheres, through the publication of industry news and information, as well as by deploying innovative awareness creation engagements.