It is the duty and responsibility of every good human resource manager to handle grievances at the workplace.
Upset or disengaged employees will limit your ability to deliver the type of customer service experience that creates loyal customers.
It is therefore the a critical requirement of any good human resource personnel to equip himself or herself with the knowledge and skills required to handle grievances without fear or favor.
In this article we give a general outline on how to go about grievances.
1. Acknowledge grievances
Every time employees walk to your office lamenting, they expect that someone will lend them an ear as they vent out what has been offending them. Listening is an art, and good managers listen more than they talk. Allow the workers to express themselves fully, after which you acknowledge their grievance formally. It makes them go back to their work station with an assurance that someone has listened to their cries and is willing to do something about it. This is not a bad thing. If anything, it improves the environment and makes it conducive for constructive activities to go on.
2. Act quickly upon ascertaining the facts
Once you have acknowledged the resentment, the next step is to set on a mission to establish the truth. The aim is to ascertain whether the employee’s allegations are a true reflection of the state of affairs as at that particular time. Numerous avenues exist for this purpose, and it is upon the management to decide on the best way to accomplish this objective. Once you have the facts, do not take too long to act. Taking too much time before decisive action is taken can result in some unrest which will escalate the grievances. You ought to deal with these formal objections as fast as you can before things get out of hand.
3. Eliminate the root cause of the problem
Going the quick fix route can be costly and detrimental to the organization. Once an employee formally launches a complaint, it should be addressed once and for all. If you do not get a lasting solution, you can expect the employees to come back to your office every day with the same complaint, which for your information is quite annoying. The key to finding a good solution lies in the ability of human resource personnel to identify the real cause of the problem. Solving this quagmire guarantees you that no one will bother you with a similar complain. The action taken should ensure that the grievance is addressed fully.
4. Communicate the decision to the parties concerned
Once a decision is made, there should be no time wasted in communicating the resolution. The action taken might not be agreeable to all employees, but they have to understand the stand of the management. The course of action to be taken must be clear in the minds of all those concerned.
5. Maintain a good grievance policy
Grievance policies determine the actions to be taken. It is important in coming up with solutions which should be fair to all those involved. Having well documented policies makes it easier to handle grievances, as the policies provide a framework which will be followed in settling disputes. These policies should be assessable to all, including employees. They should actually read the policies before forwarding their complaints to you. Policies ensure that justice prevails, as it is highly unlikely that decisions which are outside the framework will be made
6. Carry out post implementation reviews
After implementing the resolutions, it is always healthy to look back to evaluate the impact of the resolutions. If the employees are happier and settled, then you handled the grievance well. If it had the desired outcome, it should be incorporated into the policies for future reference.
Emily Houlston and Breathe HR have combined forces to bring you career advice, Emily has been in the HR industry for 4.5 years and Breathe HR is a revolutionary cloud based HR system.