PM/04: Sensitive issues at work.

Managing Sensitive Issues

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This is a highly participative course aimed at Line Managers. It will increase managers understanding of sensitive issues in the workplace, give practical tools and tips for managing these issues appropriately and ensure awareness of UK employment legislation in this area. The course will encourage group discussion and allow managers time to apply the learning from the course to areas they find most challenging to manage.

At the end of the course, delegates will more confident in managing sensitive issues in line with internal policies and procedures (where appropriate), best practice and employment legislation.


Welcome and Introduction

  • Course outline and objectives

Handling Sensitive Issues well

  • Types of sensitive issues. What makes an issue sensitive?
  • Why are these situations difficult to manage?
  • Delegates experience and challenges

 The Broad Legal Framework

  • An overview of legislation
  • Dismissal and Discrimination law
  • Duty of care and contractual obligations
  • Practical considerations for managers; role and responsibilities.

 Personal Issues

  • What personal issues may impact work?
  • Health, Stress and Mental Illness, terminal illness etc.
  • Alcohol and drug addiction
  • Changes to circumstances e.g. divorce, bereavement etc.
  • Group Exercise on strategies for handling personal issues

 Debrief of Group Exercise

  • Relevant policies and procedures/other sources of support

 Managing Personal Issues

  • A Manager’s role and responsibility. Checklist of managerial skills
  • A Conversational Approach: Preparing for and holding the meeting
  • Group Exercise: Understanding and managing emotional reactions in others
  • Managing your emotions

Managing Work Related Issues

  • Organisational changes/redundancy/work related stress etc.
  • Managing allegations and incidents e.g. conduct, grievances etc.
  • Harassment and bullying: Challenging inappropriate behaviour
  • Informal action and formal procedures
  • Scenario exercise

 Other Sensitive Issues

  • Group Exercise focused on other sensitive issues relevant to the group such as:
    • Personal hygiene
    • Personality clashes
    • Appearance at work
    • Capability and performance issues
  • Debrief of exercise
  • Practical tips and strategies including how to give effective, constructive feedback

 Skills Practice

  • Preparing for and conducting a meeting around a sensitive situation and /or managing challenging responses. Scenarios will be written bespoke for clients to ensure maximum relevance and learning.

 Round-up Session

  • Final questions and review of key issues from the day
Remember: All of our courses are individually designed to meet our client’s needs. This programme is just an illustration of what the course can cover.