Employees do face issues and may have grievances towards their co-workers, jobs and superiors… Let’s face it – We all complain about our bosses at some stage! We do, right? They may face incidents that might bother them or demean their value.
All companies will have specific policies in place to deal with problems an employee might have, related to the job or the workplace. However, there may be sensitive issues, where an employee might need to approach the HR personally and have them resolved!
Let’s first take a look at some of the grievances an employee might have!
Types Of Grievances An Employee Might Have!
Here are some of the most common complaints an employee would approach the HR for…
1. Compensation and Benefits
Most employee grievances are about the remuneration they receive or rather don’t receive. Additionally, there may be instances where the pay and benefits are not balanced across the organisation.
2. Company Policies
Employees might also have complaints owing to layoffs, assignments or transfers.
The grievance could also be due to some areas or clauses contained in the company’s personnel policies, such as the hiring and recruitment procedures, leave administration, and merit and promotion plans, to name a few.
3. Distribution of Work
If some employees find that they are given more work as compared to the rest, and are not being fairly paid for it, it could lead to a serious grievance.
Aside from unfair distribution of work, complaints may also arise simply from the employees’ opinion that the company is working them to the ground. This is especially true in the case of companies that are going through lean times and have to employ cost-cutting measures.
4. Work Environment
Employees might have complaints if the workplace isn’t safe for them. There might be issues of bullying, harassment, or office politics. Additionally, the office may not be designed well – it might not be well-lit or may not have ergonomic furniture.
There could also be instances where employees may not have the necessary tools and technology to get their work done.
5. Management-Employee Relations
It is possible that an employee might face a communication gap with the management. Filing a grievance might be the best way to gain access to the employer.
While it is important to not let the complaint go unheard, assessing the validity of the complaint is even more crucial! The most impactful way to tackle the situation is being analytical. The HR has to be thorough with investigating all the necessary details of the complaint, and also about the complainee!
How To Manage Employee Grievances Effectively!
Following are some measures that would help the HR manager manage the grievances of the workforce!
1. Be A Good Listener!
The HR manager must give importance to the issues raised by employees. And, also make sure that necessary actions been taken and their voices are not gone unheard.
Listening is the first step toward finding a resolution to the grievance. By listening, you encourage the employee to be more confident in getting his issue resolved. If the employee feels that he is simply being patronized and not being taken seriously, he might take his complaint outside the company, resulting in legal issues that will prove to be far more tedious, expensive, and damaging to the company and its reputation.
You might also end up losing the employee to another company!
2. Keep An Open Mind And Investigate!
Don’t show scepticism or doubt, once you’ve received the complaint. Keep an open mind, and investigate all the aspects of the complaint, paying attention to the tiniest of details. Save your conclusions until later, once you have collected all the necessary evidence and validated the matter!
3. Take Immediate Action!
Once the issue has been put up under your radar, make sure that the solution finding process begins quickly. Right from collecting the details to coming to the final act, the process must not take a long time. That may get the complainant under the impression of ignorance and that will be the last thing a responsible HR manager would want.
Additionally, the concerned employee might slack off, and not perform to his/her potential.
4. Find A Permanent Solution!
A temporary solution for any grievance will never work. The root cause of the problem has to be eliminated at once. This is an effective way to handle and deal with a complaint. This will ensure that no employees will come your way asking for solutions to the problem you already addressed.
Also, identify other options, just so you will have alternatives in the event that the first course of action will not be acceptable to the concerned parties.
If you already have a number of alternatives to choose from, the time to resolve the issue – as well as the costs and resources involved –will be cut down considerably.
5. Acquaint The Parties Concerned!
Knowledge sharing with the concerned parties is a must. The steps you have taken, the data you gathered, the solutions you have, the effects and outcomes of the solution, everything has to be discussed with concerned departments of the organization.
If at all any loopholes are present, those will be acknowledged and the best possible solution to the complaint will be proposed.
6. Maintain Confidentiality
While finding solutions and fixing these issues one has to keep things confidential and must ask the complainant in the same way. Doing the work in silence and resolving the issue would work perfectly.
Anonymity has to be maintained while counselling the person against whom the complaint was lodged. Maintain a friendly demeanour while underlining the mistakes of the employee. An HR manager becomes a guardian here to make them understand their mistake they might have never noticed. The approach has to be friendly and more of guiding.
7. Have Implementation Reviews Registered
Once a grievance is handled, make sure to have a survey conducted to know the efficacy of the solution and that the parties who are concerned are happy with the undergone course of action. Register them and improve if you must.
8. Document The Incident
Maintaining a record of the happenings always comes in handy. Documented records are a walk through to the previous cases and the solutions applied to them. At times, when the grievance policies have been updated or changed, the same has to documented for future reference!
It’s not easy to tackle such issues swiftly. It’s important to remember that while dealing with numerous employee grievances, HR managers represent both the employer and the employee.
By taking a few steps, employee grievances can be managed without any dire repercussions!