Fact Sheet #26a) Consultation on Strategies to Counter Complaints and Conflicts

Level 4

Element: Communication and Consultation

Outcome 26: The organization conducts regular and on-going consultation with external partners/key stakeholders to promote human rights principles.

Indicator 26a): Consultation with internal and external stakeholders/partners/ designated group members’ communities to develop strategies for minimizing complaints/conflicts in the workplace.

Possible Measures and Data Sources:

  • Membership in an Ombudsman’s group or similar type of association.
  • Membership on the board of a designated group member association or other diversity related association or committee.
  • Minutes of meetings related to this membership.
  • Agreement related to this membership.
  • Documents showing that the stakeholder has been consulted with respect to the complaints/conflict resolution process.

Indicator Description

The organization is now seeking to maintain its sound human rights management practices and prevent discrimination complaints. To do this, it consults with organizations specialized in promoting diversity and defending the rights of designated group members. With these organizations, it examines discrimination-related issues and looks for ways to better manage workplace conflict and prevent employee or client complaints.

At Level 3, the organization consults with its external partners to improve its service delivery and policies. At Level 4, it consults with various stakeholders to gain a better understanding of how to develop or implement its strategies for complaint reduction and sound workplace conflict management. To this end, it consults with its employees and clients belonging to designated groups, other employers or unions affected by the same issues, interest groups, etc.

For example, an organization can consult with its hearing impaired employees or an external association for the hearing impaired on how it communicates with this segment of its client base and thus prevent complaints.

Suggested Approach

  • Consult with its employees and clients: Encourage employees belonging to designated groups to have group discussions with senior management. Employees will have the opportunity to discuss their day-to-day experiences at work and express their concerns and expectations with regard to the organization. These employees can get together in specific designated groups or in a single group, as applicable. They are responsible for providing management with suggestions on how to better prevent discrimination. Management must share its expectations and commit to taking these groups’ suggestions into account when making decisions. These consultations must take place on a regular basis and can also be organized with clients belonging to designated groups.
  • Become a member of an external group: The organization designates one of its employees to become involved in a group advocating the advancement of the rights of designated groups. This group becomes a forum for sharing lessons learned and best practices and discussing challenges in their work environment to find ways to prevent complaints.
  • Consult with specialists: When faced with a specific or potential issue, the organization can consult with an association or professionals specialized in managing this kind of issue to find accommodation measures or concrete solutions.

Promising Practices

  • National inclusiveness committee: A public organization established a national inclusiveness committee made up of employees belonging to designated groups, other employees and the departmental champion. The committee meets every two months to discuss the inclusiveness challenges affecting employment practices and service delivery within the organization with a view to proposing correction measures to the deputy minister.
  • Consultation on access to services: A financial institution consulted with local Aboriginal communities to determine whether its banking services and products meet their needs and expectations. Adjustments were made following the consultation, for example, with regard to documents required to verify identity, terms of loan agreements, etc.
  • Themed meetings: To ensure that people with specific needs have access to transportation, a transportation company held discussions and shared ideas with its clients, stakeholders and community and industry members. The consultation took the form of meetings on specific topics
  • Universal design and implementation of accessibility standards: A private sector organization established an external consulting group including a number of community organizations to ensure that its facilities were also accessible to its clients with reduced mobility and to those using strollers or guide dogs. Further to the group’s recommendations, the organization gave a training session on accessibility to all employees who deal with clients. It also carried out research on the universal design and implementation of accessibility standards.  

Useful Tools and Links

Consultation and Engagement - Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Guide to Violence Prevention in the Work Place - Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Comité d'éthique et de recherche - Agence de la santé et des services sociaux de Montréal (Available in French only)

Harvesting Inclusiveness Opportunities - Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Réseau des entrepreneurs du CAMO-personnes handicapées (Available in French only)

Quality Services - Guide I - Client Consultation (Archived) - Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

Client focus - National Research Council Canada

Consultation Framework - Fisheries and Oceans Canada

AlterGo Formation (Available in French only)


Employer Advisory Council - Canadian Human Rights Commission

Camo, La compétence au-delà de la différence (Available in French only)

Une stratégie de prévention du harcèlement psychologique au travail et de soutien aux victimes - Comité interministériel sur la prévention du harcèlement psychologique et le soutien aux victimes (Available in French only) 

Guide - La prise de décision en urbanisme - Affaires municipales, régionales et occupation du territoire Québec (Available in French only) 

Reaching out to stakeholders and clients - Canadian Transportation Agency

Our social responsibility - National Bank

Our commitment to accessibility - TD Canada trust

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