While the changing industrial relations (IR) landscape may promote disputes, it also creates opportunities for good negotiators particularly concerning wealth management.
Katie Graham, Managing director of The Resolution Centre says “for most Australians it used to be natural for us to negotiate and discuss things but now we seem to jump to litigate at the first sign of trouble.”
The new IR regime, she suggests, may then create problems for companies, super funds, and employees who have poor negotiation skills.
The problem for the financial services industry however is their over-reliance upon a “power by intellect” approach, which too often leads to unnecessary confrontation.
Graham speculates this overly-intellectual approach may help explain why so much of what super funds say in their advertising can be overwhelming for many consumers.
Graham however says more employers appear to be increasingly comfortable with having to negotiate with their staff, so while some people may be expecting workplaces to explode under the weight of the new IR arrangements the reality may be surprisingly different.
She says that superannuation disputes have not yet surfaced as problem issues for many companies, but she expects it to soon surface and wealth managers may need to prepare for how they will handle these situations when they arise.
But for super funds and service providers having to increasingly negotiate with individuals and with companies one-on-one, Graham says, they may find they achieve better results if they learned how to step back from disputes and avoided unnecessary confrontations.
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