Diffusing Workplace Challenges Before They Escalate
An ombuds or ombudsman is a neutral, independent, impartial, confidential problem solver and resource person who can provide tremendous preventive value to a business or to an organization. An ombuds can serve as an important tool for addressing and diffusing situations before they escalate into a dispute or a more widespread problem within an organization or a business. Often, employees or members of an organization have a need for their concerns to be heard, acknowledged and sometimes either implemented or acted upon. An ombuds works on the front line, meeting with people, listening, observing, communicating and helping to formulate good responses and craft good solutions.
Like Preventive Law and Organizational Consulting & Coaching, ombudsmen help organizations engage, manage and effectively work through challenging situations.
The retaining of an ombuds is a clear indication that a company or institution is being proactive and taking the steps that contribute to a healthier work environment. It also sends a positive message to its employees and customers, clients, vendors and contractors with whom it interacts. Ombudsmen have been utilized by all kinds of organizations – universities, hospitals, corporations, religious institutions, foundations and municipal agencies.
Ombudspersons can be either part-time or full-time, depending on the need of the organization. They can be contract ombuds, hired solely to perform the function of an independent ombuds, or employed by a company or organization as an employee. While both function the same way, an advantage of hiring an outside contractor is that the ombuds is completely independent of the organization or business he or she serves.