October 17th marks International Conflict Resolution Day

October 15, 2019 — Defence Stories

During each October, the Defence Team celebrates Healthy Workplace Month, and this year International Conflict Resolution Day is recognized on October 17th. Effective conflict resolution and complaint management are essential aspects of a healthy workplace, and a leadership responsibility within the Defence Team, essential to ensuring the operational effectiveness of all Defence Team workplaces.

Members of the Canadian Armed Forces have access to formal recourse structures in the form of the grievance system and harassment reporting and investigating processes. These rights-based structures follow a strict application of policies and procedures that are relevant to a given conflict or complaint. Formal resolutions are process-driven and are characterized by written submissions, including evidence, testimony, and set timelines. In contrast, informal resolution is less process-driven and more outcome focused in a collaborative manner. The Integrated Conflict and Complaint Management (ICCM) program emphasizes early, local and informal, results based conflict resolution through interest-based options. In situations where informal resolution processes would apply, it can be achieved with the skilled assistance of specially trained and experienced Conflict and Complaint Management Services (CCMS) agents, and practitioners of the ICCM program.

With 16 CCMS locations across Canada, ICCM provides neutral, confidential advice, programs and services to both individuals, and leaders that are designed to help preserve individual dignity, while leaving broader workplace relations intact.

The ICCM program also manages the Integrated Complaint Registration and Tracking System (ICRTS), which, while respecting the privacy and confidentiality of individuals and their concerns, records data concerning the nature of reported issues and complaints to provide detailed, real-time data and analysis, to the chain of command. This data enables both qualitative and quantitative awareness, and management of conflict and complaint portfolios by leaders at every level. This in-turn identifies new opportunities to design and apply prevention programs, and training to address systemic issues, before they affect members.

While currently directed primarily at CAF members, Defence Team employees can also use CCMS centres to raise concerns where CAF members are in conflict with one-another, and to obtain specialized training in conflict resolution related skills and strategies.

The Defence Team continues to place a high priority on ensuring the health, wellness and safety of CAF Members and civilian staff, in their respective working environments. The ICCM program is meeting a critical need towards continuously improving the working conditions, in conjunction with the expressed needs of both members and leaders alike.  During Canada’s Healthy Workplace Month, why not visit one the CCMS locations near you, and find your own way forward.

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