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Complaints and Workplace Culture

If all staff are aware of proper complaint handling processes, more complaints can be resolved on the spot and complaints are less likely to escalate.

The foundations of a healthy workplace

Ongoing quality improvement approach to complaints

  • Encourage regular feedback.
  • Use a collaborative approach.
  • Learn from complaints.

A blame-free workplace culture

  • Complaints are welcomed, encouraged and easy to make.
  • Staff are committed to the right of the care recipient / relative to complain if they feel unhappy or dissatisfied.
  • There’s a willingness to listen to and resolve complaints.
  • Complaints aren’t regarded as a nuisance or waste of time.
  • Complaints are viewed as positive because they provide information that can be used to improve service quality.
  • Services are willing to act.
  • Feedback is actively sought and encouraged from visitors, volunteers and others in contact with the services.

A strong commitment to effective, blame-free complaint handling processes

  • Empower staff to take action to address minor issues and concerns
  • Encourage leaders and senior staff to champion a positive approach to complaints
  • Ask all staff and volunteers to hear and welcome complaints
  • Organise communication and complaint management training for staff
  • Promote complaint handling processes to care recipients and their families

Benefits of a blame-free workplace culture

  • Service providers who have a good internal complaints system are more likely to satisfy their legislative requirements.
  • Effective complaint resolution within the service can prevent escalation of complaints.

Effective complaint handling processes enhance service reputation and build strong, positive relationships with care recipients.

A healthy workplace culture is central to effective complaint handling.

Complaints provide learning opportunities that look at why something happened and how it can be improved.

Looking at who is to blame creates barriers to good complaints management.