Consulting Staff – Training Course

This course helps make workforce consultation more productive and effective. It explains all common types of consultation from business development to collective consultations.  It is essential training for managers and employee representative alike.  It encourages and supports win-win outputs across all types of consultation.

There are a wide range of situations when employers may wish or need to consult with their employees. 

How employers consult with employees will differ, depending on the organisation and the issue or changes the employer wants to consult on. Employers may wish to consult via recognised trade unions, officially recognised employee representation forums or directly with employees.  

Formal consultation is usually carried out through recognised trade union(s) either alongside or fully separate from an employee representative scheme based on forums/committees/champions.  In organisations where there is no formal union representation the role is often taken on by an employee representative scheme based on forums/committees/champions.  These schemes are usually anchored in elections to secure companywide representation and operate within mutually agreed working arrangements. 

Consultation is a critical part of an employer’s day-to-day management processes and plays a key roles in delivering success.  

Direct consultation can take a number of forms, including:

  • informal discussions with individual employees
  • formal group meetings or seminars

Indirect consultation usually focuses on

  • good practice consultation’ – for when consultation could be a useful tool, for example fact-finding or exploring whether to introduce a working from home policy
  • ‘consultation under the law’ – for when there is a potential legal implication, for example in redundancy situations where individual consultation is required as part of a fair process
  • ‘collective consultation’ – for when the law requires an employer to take all reasonable steps, following a set process, to consult with employee representatives

    And is best carried out in a formally set up group such as:

  • joint consultative committee made up of managers and employee representatives who work to promote good practice in the way an organisation is managed
  • joint working party set up to consider and suggest ways of resolving specific issues affecting the organisation, for example a high rate of employee turnover or problems with the pay system
  • recognised trade union and/or an employee forum as described above

This course focusses on how win-win benefits can be derived from consultation together with the skills and approaches that improve effectiveness of consultation. 


  1. Situations where consultation may apply
    This session considers the wide range of situations where consultation can deliver business benefits and highlights areas where consultation is required by law
  • When and why consult
    • Business Strategy and Direction
    • Organisational Standards and Expectations
    • New workplace policies, procedures and protocols often driven by mandatory requirements or those reflecting expected best practice as well as organisational changes
    • Legal duty
  • The Information and Consultation of Employees (ICE) Regulations
  • Changing to Contracts of Employment
  • Changes to pay and benefit arrangements
  • Health and Safety related matters
  • Redundancy, TUPE and other forms of “dismissal”
  1. Fears, Concerns and Worries associated with Consultation
    Fears and worries, often ill founded, can hinder effective consultation. This session addresses typical fears and in doing so aims to help participants approach consultation in a more positive manner.

Typical issues include:

  • Interference with the organisations operational style
  • Loss of power – a perception that the management role might be devalued
  • No time for perceived long term ideas – time is needed to fix more immediate issues
  • Extra work for managers and workforce participants
  • Too much follow on work and commitment
  • Off job – reduction in productivity and related bonuses
  • Extra costs and time demands for the organisation
  • Fear that consultation will be wasteful talking shops 
  • Management won’t listen to the workforce
  • Cynical – world weary – seen it all before, another tick box exercise
  1. Skills needed to deliver effective consultation
    Consultation is often a significant different duty to any employee’s daily job role.  Being effective during any consultation process often demands a very different range of skills be used.  This session looks at the various skills needed and provides a raft of easy to understand and apply, hints and tips for each one.
  • Communication
  • Meetings and Minutes
  • Negotiating
  • Assertiveness and Influencing
  • Reporting Back and Public Speaking
  • Planning and Organising
  • Empathy, Counselling and Support
  1. Developing Personal Effectiveness
    Against the back drop of the skills needed, participants are encouraged to consider their own personal skills profile, their areas of strength and the skills they may wish to develop further. 


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