Definition of Grievance:
Grievance or, Employee Grievance is a formal complaint raised by an employee against a fellow employee or manager, or even against the employer. Employees usually file grievances for workplace harassment, discrimination, nepotism, concerns regarding team management or regarding terms of the employment. It does not have to be a written complaint all the time. Sometimes, employees
It is necessary that employers treat grievances with caution and fairness, because it shows that you hear your complaints, provide a transparent procedure, and will take necessary steps to resolve them. Failure to do so will cause low employee morale, and eventually leading to high turnover rate, and sometimes legal consequences.
Types of Employee Grievances:
Some common grievances include:
- Workplace Harassment: This includes bullying, discrimination and micromangement. Not everyone in your team will get along all the time. Friction is likely to occur. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ignore it or dismiss it as a common occurrence. Let your employees know that such behavior is not tolerated.
- Compensation: Employees might sometimes feel that their work deserves a higher pay. There can be issues wherein they think they should receive the same compensation as someone else. Or could be about reimbursements.
- Workload and employee burnout: When employees end up doing more work than they were initially expected to, most likely because of taking up the work of a resigning/terminated employee., or staff redundancy. They are often frustrated wondering how this would benefit them.
- Work conditions: Cleanliness and safety are the two most important things your employees will be concerned about.
Effectively handling Employee Grievances:
- Have an informal chat with disgruntled employee: Have a small discussion with the employee to understand where exactly the issue is stemming from. It is essential to make them feel heard. If the employee still insists on pursuing a formal grievance procedure, you can ask for a written statement and take action.
- Set up a Grievance Redressal system: Let your employees know that they can voice their concerns. Have a grievance policy in place accessible by all the employees. Let them know who is their point of contact and assure confidentiality. Most importantly, provide a timeline to act on the grievances.
- Acknowledge the issue: When someone has an issue, the most important thing is to make them feel heard. The solution may not be handy, but it is necessary to let them know that the issue will be taken care of, in a fair, transparent and timely manner.
- Grievance investigation: Set up an investigation committee to address the concerns of the employee. Inquire about the incident, talk to other employees if necessary and give time to provide evidence for their claims.
- Take an informed decision: After inquiry and evidence submission, take a thoughtful, informed decision. You can choose to accept (full or partial) or reject the claims entirely. Provide the decision in writing and give steps on how the employee should handle such a situation henceforth.
- Provide scope for appeal: If the employee is unhappy with the decision of the committee, they should be given a chance to appeal. Acknowledge the appeal and include parties who were not a part of the initial decision. Share the evidence with them, helping them take an unbiased decision.
- Take care of the root cause: It is important for employers to ensure that the issues do not repeat themselves. As a result, identify the root cause and uproot it entirely.