Progress report on the Integrated Complaint and Conflict Management (IC2M) program

Effective complaint and conflict resolution creates a healthy work environment and helps to optimize operational effectiveness.
Effective complaint and conflict resolution creates a healthy work environment and helps to optimize operational effectiveness.

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After seven months in operation, four prototype Complaint Management Services (CMS) offices at Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) bases in Ontario and Quebec have successfully met their objectives.

The offices, located at Valcartier and Montreal, Que., and Kingston and Borden, Ont., registered more than 400 cases overall since their establishment, and resolved more than 57 rights-based formal complaints informally with the chain of command. If these results were extended across the CAF, they would represent an immediate 20 percent reduction in annual formal complaints.

With the launch of the prototype Conflict Management Program in October 2016, the Canadian Army and Chief Military Personnel command stepped forward to open the offices to validate the new Integrated Complaint and Conflict Management (IC2M) Program and shape an across-Canada rollout.

Based on the feedback received from CAF members and the local chains of command, the implementation of the first four CMS offices has been a success, yielding positive results. The main role of these offices is to both enable the leadership to proactively resolve matters early and locally, and to educate and guide members toward the appropriate process to address their issue.

By recognizing the importance of an effective complaint and conflict resolution system, local formation and unit commanders, and staff within CMP and the Canadian Army have demonstrated that the CAF cares about its members and that creating a healthy work environment is important to optimize operational effectiveness.

The number of complaints registered with the offices varied, as some bases had pre-existing issues which were reported early and conflict resolution assets that were easily integrated into the newly created CMS.

Each CMS provides equal added-value to its local community and each has established a proactive communication plan to promote its services. This program saves time, creates greater levels of satisfaction for complainants, and reduces the pressures and costs associated with formal resolution mechanisms.

CMS agents at the offices reinforce effective communication efforts between CAF members and their chains of command. This approach has led to the establishment of a trusted place to go to address conflicts, and has allowed the CMS to play a supporting role in establishing and maintaining healthy work environments.

The IC2M program has worked closely with both the CAF Strategic Response Team on Sexual Misconduct and the Sexual Misconduct Response Centre to coordinate efforts and cases related to Operation HONOUR. The Assistant Deputy Minister (Review Services) Directorate of Special Examinations and Inquiries has joined with the program to set up an internal investigative capability to conduct complex or sensitive harassment investigations for the CMS offices. Finally, support from ADM (Information Management) has initiated the development of an integrated IM solution to register, track, and manage complaints. The initial module of the software is intended to be delivered in fall 2017.

Within the next several years, it is expected that at least 16 CMS offices will open their doors at bases and wings across Canada.

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