Managing Customer Contact


Background

Our traffic management operatives are at the forefront of network activity and often they are the first contact road-users and residents have with our organisation.

However, these operatives are not only at risk from passing traffic and traffic management incursions. Members of the public can also pose a significant risk to our operatives enforcing road closures or other traffic management arrangements. Incidents involving third party conflict recorded in the last two years highlighted a need to address the issue.

Solution

Investigations following incidents identified a need to equip our staff with the necessary confidence and skills to de-escalate conflict. A specific task group was set up to look at this issue and identify solutions.

A questionnaire was designed to thoroughly analyse incidents of verbal and physical abuse. The results identified the extent of the issue, hot spots on the network and measures to support operatives to reduce or cope with conflict.

A-one+ developed bespoke training in conflict management and used the opportunity to reinforce our company values and customer strategy to front line workforce, operatives and supervisors.

The course was designed to enable delegates to:

  • Describe common conflict causes
  • Recognise forms of communication and breakdown
  • Understand models that can assist conflict management
  • Recognise patterns of behaviour and warning signs
  • Appreciate the use of distance when dealing with conflict
  • Use different methods for dealing with conflict situations
  • Become more confident about dealing with aggression
  • Know the health and safety policy regarding violence and aggression at work
  • Recognise body language and its effect on others
  • Realise that defusing a conflict situation is the best way to deal with it.

The conflict resolution training contributes to our health and safety objectives through: communication and engagement, competency, accident reduction and leadership. Senior managers have since undertaken the training and feedback demonstrated that participants felt the course was useful, had given them better understanding and tools to help them deal with conflict at work and in day to day life.