Handling Employee Concerns or Grievances

 In HR

As an employer you would like to know that your employees are pleased with their working conditions and that their work is fulfilling and gratifying.  Unfortunately, no matter how hard you may work to ensure a positive, healthy and happy working environment, a concern or grievance will arise at some point.

It is your duty as a business owner and manager to make sure everyone can feel comfortable communicating their concerns in a productive manner.  Employees should feel confident and comfortable speaking up and knowing that their concerns will be taken seriously.

Some common issues that arise in the workplace are communication which may be one of the biggest and most common issue as well as others such as conflict management, hour and wage issues, timekeeping and attendance issues and motivation and morale issues.  It is a best practice to develop a system for employees to communicate their concerns and create a process for addressing them.  Here are some key steps to do so:

  • Who will handle communications?  Employees should be assured that any concerns will be taken seriously and handled with discretion and professionalism.
  • Create a process, put procedures in writing in an employee handbook so that employees are aware of what they should do if an issue arises, let your employees know that their suggestions, concerns and grievances are important and that they are being safely and fairly heard.
  • Acknowledge ALL concerns and let your employee know your next steps in regards to reviewing and resolving the concern.  If possible, provide an estimated timeframe that you will get back with them with any updates.
  •  Follow up with the employee to ensure that proper action has been taken and that the issue has been resolved or what the current status is.  Showing that there is an organizational commitment to employees and their concerns.
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