May 24, 2012

Workplace Dignity Blog: Long Live the Ombudsperson!

Kendall D. Isaac, a former HR and employment law litigator, is a law professor teaching dispute resolution at Appalachian School of Law and publisher of the Workplace Dignity Blog. His most recent post is: "Long Live the Ombudsperson!" Isaac explains why Organizational Ombuds programs present an important benefit for organizations. 

He writes...
A revitalization of the ombuds role would greatly impact a company’s ability to receive and respond to disputes before they snowball into an uncontrollable avalanche of litigation. The role also gives the employee base a greater sense of empowerment by being able to sit down directly with a person who has direct access to the CEO and Board, as opposed to being relegated to having to talk to a junior or even senior level human resource representative who is several hierarchal steps removed from the top of the food chain. Even in companies that have a Vice President of HR, that VP is typically inaccessible to the average employee. Having an ombudsman on staff, who could partner with yet remain totally independent from the human resource, corporate legal and ethics departments, can help companies more efficiently and yet still economically resolve disputes while they are still in their infancy. Sounds like a win-win to me! 

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