How to identify and resolve work grievances

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Every social structure has a share of its own challenges and even in a formal set-up, there can be grievances.

A work grievance is a concern or complaint an employee has about their workplace or a colleague.

Person management is the best approach to identifying employee grievances. Some of the ways to observe grievance include:

Changed behaviour

Every good HR manager should have considerable emotional intelligence to handle a grievance. Direct observation can be a great problem solver.

Periodic one-on-one conversations, group meetings, collective bargaining, and employee counselling sessions are the best occasions when direct observation can be the highest effective.

Suggestion boxes

For anonymous complaints, it can be placed in different accessible locations within the office. The fear of adverse managerial actions can be avoided through this method.

Open-door policy

It is one of the best employee empowerment techniques in the workplace. Open door policy refers to open communication and transparency that allows them to be in touch with the senior management to get their grievances addressed.

Opinion surveys

We can use these surveys in understanding different employee opinions regarding workplace satisfaction. It may be conducted periodically in the form of questionnaires and self-report measures.

Effective exit-Interviews

If answered honestly, exit interviews can provide constructive reflections on the impact that the company culture has on its employees. By knowing the reasons for leaving the job, employers can make the best possible changes with improved management policies.

How does one Handle employee grievances?

Create the system: The first thing is to set up a grievance system for your companies to help your employees lodge complaints and grievances so that you can resolve them.

The grievance procedure must be added to the employee handbook’s content so that all can easily access it.

Someone must take responsibility for grievance receipts. You must ensure the employees that their complaints are placed in confidence. Generally, it should be someone from the Human Resources Department.

The place of receiving the complaints must be within reach to all. That is, it should be located centrally. If you use a grievance box, it should be in the area of common accessibility.

Acknowledge the grievance: It would help if you listened more than you talk while dealing with employee grievances. When your employees come to you lamenting over an issue, lend them your ear.

That doesn’t mean that you should resolve it immediately but so that your employees know that their complaint is acknowledged. Let your employees know that you have received their report and are willing to do something about it.

Investigate: Not all issues qualify for a hearing. Generally, it is essential to review whether the grievance is valid or not. Inquire about the incidents or situations and gather any relevant information.

It may not always be necessary but if the matter involves other staff, they will need to be informed and given a chance to explain themselves and put forward their own shreds of evidence.

Once the investigation is over, you can arrange a formal meeting.

Hold the formal meeting: The employee with the grievance and all the relevant parties should be called to be present in the formal hearing.

The employee can put forward any evidence that backs up the complaint and explain how they would like the problem to be resolved. Later on, you can circulate the minutes of the meeting notes.

Take your decision and act accordingly: This is the decision-making phase. Once you have collected all the required information and closely examined the situation, you should decide.

You might decide to accept the grievance in whole or part or reject it altogether. It would help if you let the employee know in writing about the actions that you will take. At the same time, you can advise the employee on how they should deal with similar situations.

Proceed with the appeal process: Your employee might not accept your decision and has the right to an appeal. Here again, your grievance policy should outline the terms and conditions of the appeal process.

It should start with an appeal letter written by the employees, informing them why they want the decision to be reconsidered. To ensure impartiality, the appeal should be heard by another manager or supervisor who was not a part of the first meeting.

An appeal hearing with new evidence should follow this. The decision of the same should be informed to the employee in writing. If your employee is still not satisfied, it can either be mediated or escalated to the employment tribunal.

Review the situation: It’s always healthy to have an objective look back at your decisions. If the employee is happy with the resolution, you were good at settling the issue. In fact, it can prove significant to your company culture.

If the prevailing policy ensures justice, it can foster a sense of pride and accountability in the employees’ work. That’s the benefit of implementing a fast and effective grievance procedure.

Uproot the main cause of grievance: Your aim is to go for a long-lasting solution. That is, a formal complaint should be addressed once and for all. This prevents your employees from coming back again and again with the same issue.

The key solution here lies in identifying the root cause of the problem and making sure to solve the problem completely, with the scope of adjustments, if necessary.

 

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