Home Workplace News Concerning customer behaviour has Kirkland Lake, Ont., considering new customer code of conduct

Concerning customer behaviour has Kirkland Lake, Ont., considering new customer code of conduct

By Marissa Lentz | TimminsToday.com

Some concerning customer behaviour has Kirkland Lake considering a new code of conduct policy.

Created to help municipal staff determine responses to unwanted behaviours and outline to the public what won’t be tolerated, the policy was proposed by clerk Jennifer Montreuil at Tuesday’s (April 2) Kirkland Lake council meeting.

If approved, the policy will apply to all forms of communication including online, electronic, print and in-person.

Montreuil said there has been three to five incidents in the last two years where customers have demonstrated unacceptable behaviours toward staff.

“All customers of the town are entitled to be treated fairly and in a respectable manner. In turn, customers are required to treat town employees, our representatives, and other customers in a courteous, respectful, and civil manner as well,” she said.

“Post-pandemic, vexatious and unreasonable customer behaviour has been on the rise causing public unrest in certain circumstances. This puts employees in a very difficult position and compromises the town’s ability to deliver quality customer service effectively, while keeping health and safety of our employees at first sight.”

There is currently no process in place of how to deal with those types of situations as they transpire, Montreuil said.

“It behooves the municipality to establish parameters and to identify those with the authority to enact greater methods of managing those difficult situations,” she said.

“Past discussions have been viewed from a single lens while the proposed policy offers a number of techniques and options to manage conflict resolution in a fair and consistent manner, and will better assist law enforcement’s engagement.”

The proposed policy lists 22 unreasonable behaviours. It includes verbally or physically intimidating, harassing or threatening others, using hostile, loud, abusive, obscene, offensive, rude explicit, or vulgar language, throwing articles in an aggressive manner, and being in possession of dangerous or unauthorized material.

Those who don’t comply could have their access municipal services restricted, which could result in a limit on the number and duration of contacts with staff per week or month, being limited to one method of contact, or the town refusing the customer’s access to any town building except by appointment.

Coun. Janice Ranger said she’s surprised there isn’t already a policy in place.

“I would also recommend that at some point, you could have what’s called a BIT, behavioural intervention team, which is a collection of frontline staff and management who discuss the behaviour of incidents,” she said.

“And you could also look at having training for somebody to have debriefing qualifications when there is an incident that’s escalated and it would allow a staff member or the volunteer whoever was part of that incident to have somebody that they can go to that is trained and properly able to discuss the situation.”

Montreuil said there are plans for a marketing campaign to formally educate customers, staff and administration on the policy and expectations of service and respect, how to take situational action and protocols around behaviour management.

You may also like

About Us

HR Law Canada is dedicated to covering labour and employment news for lawyers, HR professionals and employers. Published by North Wall Media.